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Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the 2020 Partners Luncheon under the China-UK Charity Initiative: Join Hands for Charity to Meet the Challenge
Mansion House, City of London, 6 March 2020

Lord Mayor Russell,

Chairman Fang,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good afternoon!

This is the second time in one week that I have attended a City of London event. Last Friday, I joined Lord Mayor Russell and Chairman Fang at the “Together We Fight against the Virus” event jointly hosted by CCCUK and the City of London. There, I was deeply touched by the profound friendship and strong solidarity between the peoples of our two countries in fighting against Covid-19.

Today is another touching moment. We will witness Chinese and British businesses joining hands to raise fund for a poverty alleviation project in China, a project that will help build public health facilities in Zhemi Town, Jinping County, Yunnan Province and strengthen the capability of local community in the battle against Covid-19.

These two events are both significant. They both show that love knows no border. They display the three bonds between us.

The first bond is the mutual help between us.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, more than 170 heads of states or governments and more than 40 heads of international or regional organisations have sent their sympathy and support to China in various ways, for which we are deeply grateful.

China has made the utmost efforts and tremendous sacrifice to contain the virus at home. At the same time, we have been actively engaged in cooperation with the rest of the world, including sharing information of the virus, containment measures, treatment methods and research outcomes with WHO and the relevant countries.

In our fight against the epidemic, the Chinese and British business communities have expressed strong support to China and offered help through donations.

I am sure that the China-UK Charity Initiative will play a bigger role and inject new impetus into our joint efforts in this battle against the epidemic and in enhancing global public health.

The second bond is our shared commitment to charity.

The City of London is the world’s leading financial centre. It has unique strengths in financial and professional services.

In recent years, China has accelerated the pace of reform and opening up. In particular, the opening up of China’s financial sector has created enormous potential and broad prospects for China-UK cooperation.

Under such circumstances, deeper cooperation in charity work between the business communities of our two countries will deliver more win-win outcomes to our peoples. This also shows the high sense of social responsibility of Chinese and British business communities and reflects their belief that “wealth comes from society and should go back to society”.

It is my belief that the China-UK Charity Initiative will promote development through cooperation and provide support for public welfare. Your efforts will continue to drive forward China-UK cooperation in financial services, economy and charity work.

The third bond is our common responsibility for a shared future.

The fight against COVID-19 once again proves that mankind are interdependent and live in a community with a shared future. Poverty reduction is a common responsibility of all mankind. It is also a priority in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

China has made outstanding contribution to the cause of poverty reduction in the world.

  • In the past 40 plus years since the adoption of the reform and opening up policies, China has lifted 850 million people out of poverty, which accounted for more than 70% of the world’s total.
  • Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese Government has adopted targeted poverty alleviation policies, reducing the number of rural people living in poverty from 98.99 million at the end of 2012 to 5.51 million at the end of 2019. That means a total of 93.48 million people have been lifted out of poverty.
  • This year, China plans to bring our poverty alleviation initiatives to a satisfactory conclusion. To this end, China will step up the efforts to help people living in poverty and poverty-stricken areas. In Beijing this afternoon, President Xi Jinping attended a symposium on winning the decisive battle against poverty and made important remarks. We must make every effort to minimise the impact of the epidemic and achieve our goal of eliminating absolute poverty. The time we achieve this goal will be an exciting moment in the history of China. It will also be a memorable time for the world, as one fifth of all mankind achieves such an extraordinary progress.

Poverty reduction has been a focus of the China-UK Charity Initiative. Thanks to the support from CCCUK and the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, the China-UK Charity Initiative has made remarkable progress. I hope this Initiative will achieve greater success. I am sure you will make new and greater contribution to the common wellbeing of the peoples of our two countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

China and the UK are both major countries of global influence. In face of the challenges, it is all the more important that China and the UK cement our bonds, build up consensus, enhance cooperation and take up more responsibilities. We should play a leading role in promoting progress of human society.

The Chinese people often say, “The highest virtue is like that of water, nourishing all living beings and at peace with them.” We also believe that “love knows no borders.”

There is a similar saying in the West, which goes, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

It is my sincere hope that the China-UK Charity Initiative will make even greater progress. I am sure you will give your love, your wisdom and your strength to China-UK friendship and cooperation, and to poverty reduction of the world!

Thank you!

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