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Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Attends the Acquisition of British Steel by Jingye Group and Delivers a Speech

On March 9, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming attended the acquisition of British Steel by Hebei Jingye Group of China and delivered a speech entitled Shared Confidence, Joint Efforts and Win-Win Development. More than 100 guests were present, including Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Li Huiming, General Manager of Jingye Group, Ron Deelen, Acting Chief Executive of British Steel, Holly Mumby-Croft MP, and representatives from the Chinese and British governments, related enterprises and media.

In his speech, Ambassador Liu called the acquisition another valued "golden fruit" of the China-UK "Golden Era, especially at the critical time when the Chinese and British people are working together to contain the COVID-19 epidemic. It demonstrates "our confidence" in three aspects. First, it shows the confidence in the steady and sustained development of the China-UK "Golden Era". The cooperation between Jingye and British Steel lives up to the vision of the leaders of the two countries and gives fresh boost to China-UK relations and their collaboration on the Belt and Road Initiative.

Second, it displays the confidence in win-win cooperation and common development. "The deal we are marking today will not only save 3,200 jobs for the local community, transform and upgrade British Steel, and promote high-quality development of steel industry in the UK. It is also a vote of confidence in the mutually-beneficial cooperation between China and the UK after Brexit," the Ambassador added.

Third, it demonstrates the confidence and belief that China and the UK will work together to overcome any difficulty. The cooperation between China's Jingye and British Steel embodies the spirit of a community with a shared future for mankind. It is the best interpretation of the prevailing trend of our times, that is, countries should be open to cooperation, embrace innovation and share the benefits of development.

In closing, Ambassador Liu said, "I wish Jingye and British Steel pleasant, fruitful and win-win cooperation. I also hope this deal will be a new starting point for China-UK cooperation. We should build on this success to enhance mutually-beneficial collaboration and set up more flagship projects. Together we will write a more splendid chapter for China-UK 'Golden Era' in the coming decade!"

Secretary Sharma congratulated Jingye Group on its acquisition of British Steel, saying that Jingye's pledge not only "secures thousands of jobs", but also "represents an important vote of confidence in the UK's steel industry". It marks "a critical step in securing a long-term, sustainable future for the cooperation between the Chinese and British businesses" and a new chapter of China-UK "Golden Era".

After the event, Ambassador Liu met with General Manager Liu Huiming of Jingye Group and Acting Chief Executive Ron Deelen of British Steel. Ambassador Liu said Jingye Group's timely acquisition is of great significance. He hoped that Jingye Group would become stronger and bigger by seizing the opportunities of China-UK economic and trade cooperation and expanding its global reach. He also encouraged the company to integrate into the local community, shoulder its social responsibilities and build a good corporate image.

Ambassador Liu also gave an interview to CGTN, sharing his views on the importance of such acquisition to China-UK relations and the prospects of China-UK relationship.

After British Steel was placed in compulsory liquidation on May 22, 2019, Hebei Jingye Group of China conducted due diligence on it and signed an acquisition agreement afterwards. On March 3, 2020, Jingye Group announced that it would complete the transaction in stages, that is, to complete the delivery of British Steel's assets in the UK and the Netherlands by March 9 before completing on the French assets. Jingye Group has promised to invest £1.2 billion in the next 10 years to modernize the plant, improve energy efficiency and environmental performance, and promote the transformation of British Steel.

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