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Home > Ambassador Liu > Remarks > 2014
Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming At APPCG Chinese New Year Reception
(Palace of Westminster, 11 February 2014)

Chairman Richard Graham,

Deputy Chairs,

Chief Executive Stephen Philips,

Members of Parliament,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a real pleasure for me to once again join you at the UK Parliament celebrating Chinese New Year. I want to thank APPCG and CBBC for hosting this event.

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, last year was the ‘Year of the Snake.’ When I last spoke at this Chinese New Year Reception I cited a Bible story to show that the snake was not a lovable creature in Western culture. But I also stressed that in Chinese mythology the snake had many redeeming features and conveyed quite a number of positive messages. I wished the ‘Year of the Snake’ to be a prosperous one.

My wish came true!

In the ‘Year of the Snake’ the British economy turned the corner. It grew by 1.9%. Unemployment dropped to 7.1%. In the Year of the Snake’, Sherlock miraculously became alive again! Together with Downton Abbey, it fascinated hundreds of millions of viewers both in China and in Britain. The two British TV shows played a unique role in boosting China-UK links.

In the ‘Year of the snake’, the Chinese economy maintained a high growth of 7.7%. China became the world’s largest trading nation. The Communist Party of China successfully held the Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee and drew up a ‘blueprint’ for comprehensively deepening reform in China. This master plan laid a solid foundation for the realization of the ‘Chinese Dream.’ China resolutely followed the path of peaceful development and played an increasingly bigger role in international affairs.

In the ‘Year of the Snake’, China –UK relations returned to normal and started a new journey:

· Prime Minister David Cameron made a successful visit to China.

· The fifth China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue was highly productive.

· China-UK trade and mutual investment made new progress.

· In particular, our bilateral trade for the first time passed 70 billion US dollars.

· London’s offshore RMB business thrived.

· Our educational and cultural exchanges further expanded and found their way ever deeper into the hearts of the people.

· APPCG and its counterpart organization in China’s National People’s Congress exchanged visits.

We now enter the ‘Year of the Horse.’ In Chinese culture the Horse symbolizes speed, energy, strength and success.

Therefore I am even more confident than last year for what lies ahead!

I would not only hope - but firmly believe this year China-UK relations will brim with vigor and vitality and hurtle ahead.

I am confident that in the ‘Year of the Horse’ China-UK political relations will rise to a new level:

· High level visits and dialogues on various levels will fully revive.

· Bilaterally, we will strengthen political mutual trust.

· Globally, our two countries will increase communication, coordination and cooperation.

I am confident that in the ‘Year of the Horse’ China-UK economic cooperation will make new breakthroughs:

· China is firmly committed to reform and opening up.

· UK has always been a champion of open trade.

· This offers great opportunities for China and Britain to deepen economic cooperation.

· Our bilateral trade will grow steadily toward the goal of 80 billion US dollars.

· Chinese investment in Britain will reach new heights.

· China-UK nuclear energy cooperation will make headway.

· Co-operation in high-speed railways will open up new opportunities.

· Our financial cooperation will bear more fruits.

I am confident that in the ‘Year of the Horse’ China-UK people-to-people and cultural exchange will create new highlights:

· The exhibition Ming: Courts and Contacts will be staged in the British Museum in September. I wish this exhibition a great success.

· I look forward to even more brilliant performances of Chinese artists at this year’s Edinburgh International Art Festival.

· I welcome more young Britons to study, travel and work in China.

· I am sure China-UK exchange in science and technology will develop in greater depth.

I am confident that in the ‘Year of the Horse’ that APPCG will continue to be a driving force with our parliamentary exchanges. APPCG is an important underpinning of China-UK relations. I have no doubt that under the leadership of Chairman Richard Graham, you will have more and closer interactions with China’s NPC. This is a valuable channel to share governance experiences. Parliamentary exchanges will also boost practical cooperation in various fields. In turn, this can help the British public build a better understanding of China. In this way you can play a more active role in promoting stable and healthy development of China-UK relations.

I also believe that the CBBC will build on the recent successful China Business Conference and continue to be the ‘leading horse’ in driving forward China-UK economic cooperation.

Finally, I would like to propose a toast to greater progress of China-UK relations in the New Year!

I wish you all a prosperous and successful ‘Year of the Horse!


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