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Home > Ambassador Liu > Remarks > 2017
Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the "University of Nottingham-China" Reception: Writing A New Chapter for China-UK Educational Cooperation
Asia House, 7 September 2017

Professor Sir David Greenaway,

Dear Nottingham Alumni,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It gives me great pleasure to join you for today's reception. Yesterday, I had the honour to be awarded the University of Nottingham's honorary doctorate. Today, I am here not only in the capacity of Chinese Ambassador to the UK, but also as an Nottingham alumnus.

In China, people often ascribe coincidence to "destiny". We often say: "If two are destined to meet, they will, no matter how far apart they may be". Between the Nottingham University and myself, I believe there is such a "magic destiny". Over the past seven years and more since I became Ambassador to the UK, I have been to Nottingham three times and attended five Nottingham events. If I think of all the British universities I have visited, this is truly unusual. But this is not by any means a coincidence. This is "magic destiny" between Nottingham and China.

First, Nottingham University was a pioneer of China-UK educational cooperation. In 2001, Professor Yang Fujia, member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and President of China's Fudan University, was appointed the sixth Chancellor of Nottingham.

  • Nottingham therefore became the very first British university to have a Chinese Chancellor.
  • This has been unprecedented in China-UK educational cooperation.
  • This was big news in the education communities of both countries.
  • And this was how the "magic destiny" between Nottingham and China began.

Second, Nottingham University was a trail-blazer in China-foreign joint university campus. As the first among all foreign universities to come to China for cooperation, Nottingham joined hands with Zhejiang Wanli University in 2004 to build the first ever China-foreign joint campus. That was the University of Nottingham, Ningbo.

  • As President Xi Jinping once said: "The founding of the University of Nottingham, Ningbo is the very first joint effort between Chinese and foreign higher learning institutions to pool their respective educational strengths. It creates a new model for a world-class and international education system in China."
  • At the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, Ningbo campus was listed by China's Ministry of Education as one of the 60 most influential events in the field of education.
  • Nottingham Ningbo has been a successful example of international cooperation.
  • 13 years ago, there were only 254 students at the Ningbo campus. Today, Nottingham Ningbo is home to 7,300 students from over 70 different countries and regions and has a community of 12,000 alumni all over the world.

Third, Nottingham University has been a contributor to China-UK educational cooperation. For over a decade, Nottingham has been working actively to advance the educational cooperation between our two countries.

  • Nottingham has set up ties with Qinghua University, Zhejiang University and dozens of other Chinese universities.
  • Nottingham is now home to 2,000 Chinese students.
  • By establishing the Study of Contemporary China, China Policy Institute and Confucius Institute, Nottingham has become an important window through which Britain and other western countries can study and understand China.

Fourth, Nottingham University has been a promoter of China-UK friendship. The success of Nottingham's cooperation with China is not limited to the field of education. The success extends to wider areas of stronger people-to-people exchanges and city-to-city cooperation.

  • The establishment of the twin-city relationship between Ningbo and Nottingham is accredited to the founding of the Nottingham's Ningbo campus.
  • During the building of the Ningbo campus, Professor Sir David flew to China every three months on average. He was later awarded Honorary Citizen of Ningbo for his significant contribution to closer exchanges and cooperation between the two cities.
  • As a symbol of such close ties, a bridge in Nottingham is named "Ningbo Friendship Bridge" in hornour of this Chinese city.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year marks the 45th anniversary of China-UK Ambassadorial diplomatic ties. It is also a year for consolidating the China-UK Golden Era. I am most pleased to see the ever-deepening China-UK educational cooperation and the flourishing of joint courses, joint projects and joint  programmes by China-UK universities.

  • 119 British universities and 206 Chinese universities have set up 370 joint educational institutions and projects at or above undergraduate level.
  • So far, more than 64,000 Chinese students received British education in China.
  • In the past four decades, more than 450,000 Chinese students studied in the UK and 35,000 British students studied in China.
  • Through such exchanges, our young people have come to understand each other better. The people of China and Britain have deepened friendship. The China-UK Golden Era has gained momentum.

Samuel Johnson once wrote: "Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance."

From 2008 to 2017, thanks to the leadership, commitment and perseverance of Professor Sir David, Nottingham University has come through an extraordinary journey and achieved remarkable achievements. It has built a bridge of friendship and a bridge of win-win cooperation between the educational communities of China and Britain.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt thanks to Professor Sir David for his outstanding contribution to advancing the educational exchanges and friendship between China and Britain.

I hope that in the China-UK Golden Era, Nottingham University will continue to deepen its cooperation with China, bring China-UK educational exchanges and cooperation to a new high and write a new chapter for the "magic destiny" between China and Britain in our educational cooperation.

Thank you!

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