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Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Conferring Ceremony of 2018 Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad: Remember Your Mission Entrusted by Your Motherland and Carry on the Fine Traditions
10 April 2019

Dear Professors and Students:

Good morning!

It is a real delight to join you at the Conferring Ceremony of 2018 Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad.

On behalf of the Chinese Embassy, let me begin by extending my warmest congratulations to today’s awardees!

This is the tenth time that I attended the conferring ceremony. I am glad to see that this year, there are 41 awardees, more than the previous years. Worldwide, ten students have won the Extraordinary Potential Prize, and I am delighted that one of them is here among you. This fully demonstrates the academic strength of Chinese students in the UK. I am so proud of you!

Britain is the birth place of modern higher education. It has some of the best universities in the world. It also leads the world in scientific research capability. As of today, 190,000 Chinese students are studying here in Britain. They are the largest international student community in the UK, and the second largest Chinese student community overseas.

Since modern times, generations of Chinese students have come to Britain not only to study but also to look for the way to the independence and rejuvenation of their country. They made extraordinary contribution to their motherland in its historic leap from gaining independence to growing prosperous and strong. Among them were Li Siguang, Tan Tieniu, Huang Kun and Huang Danian.

I hope you will take over their baton and carry on their fine traditions.

First, I hope you will carry forward the pride of the Chinese nation.

The Chinese nation is a proud nation. We have been standing tall and firm despite numerous difficulties and setbacks.

For thousands of years, this national pride has been driving generations of Chinese to be forever better. And our history,

  • the 5,000-year glory of the Chinese civilization,
  • the 170 years of struggle in modern history,
  • the nearly 100 years of strenuous efforts of the Communist Party of China,
  • and the 70 years of progress since the founding of the People’s Republic of China,

has inspired the patriotic feeling in the heart of every Chinese.

It is my hope

  • that you will carry on this glorious tradition of patriotism;
  • that you will always work for the prosperity of the country, the rejuvenation of the nation and the wellbeing of the people;
  • and that you will live your own dreams as you strive for the Chinese Dream.

Second, I hope you will carry forward the down-to-earth tradition.

Knowledge and action are one. This is an important element in the Chinese traditional philosophy.

Marx said, “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.”

In the same down-to-earth spirit, President Xi Jinping said, “One should study, believe and deliver; the ultimate goal is to deliver.”

Here in Britain, study is your primary task. Knowledge is the basis for further pursuit. Knowledge strengthens your capability to work for your country and people.

I encourage you to learn advanced knowledge, technology and management expertise, and strengthen your capability. But you should not only learn from books. You must also learn from life and put knowledge to practice. Practicing your knowledge in real life will give you the courage to face formidable missions at critical moments.

Third, I hope you will carry forward the creative spirit.

Innovation is the lifeline of research, the soul of a nation, and the force behind the prosperity of a country.

After years of rapid growth, China has come to a stage where development is faced with increasingly severe challenges. To use a metaphor, climbing becomes harder when you are half way up the mountain.

However, there is no going back. The only way forward is improving the quality of development, and to do that, China needs to

  • master cutting-edge technologies,
  • encourage independent innovation,
  • and strive for major breakthroughs in key areas.

This will enable us to overcome the difficulties in our development.

I hope that the Chinese students in Britain will find the right match between your field of study and the demand in China, dovetail advanced knowledge with China’s reality, and strive to be a leader in your areas of research and a pioneer in innovation.

Fourth, I hope you will carry forward the proactive attitude and be the ambassador for your country.

China could not achieve development in isolation from the world, and the world needs China in realising global prosperity.

Amid surging protectionism, China has made the solemn pledge to open its door wider to the world. Reform and opening are the powerful impetus behind socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

Your generation has grown up with reform and opening up. You have seen with your own eyes the remarkable achievements of this great endeavour. Now you are overseas and have connections in Britain. You are best positioned to tell the real stories of China and about China’s reform and opening up to the British people and to the world. This is not to win applause for yourselves but to contribute more positive energy to the world.

Just as a poem quoted by President Xi Jinping goes,

“Not angling for compliments, I'd be content to let my integrity fill the universe.”

In conclusion, I hope you will take good care of yourselves and keep fit. The Chinese Embassy is your home in Britain. We are there for you as always. And we will continue to improve our service as always.

Thank you!

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