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Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Attends 2019 APPCG Chinese New Year Reception

On January 28, the All Party Parliamentary China Group (APPCG) held the Chinese New Year Reception 2019 in the House of Parliament. H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, the Rt Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Richard Graham, Chairman of APPCG, the Rt Hon. Lord Sassoon FCA, Chairman of China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) and Sally Balcombe, CEO of VisitBritain/VisitEngland delivered speeches respectively. About 200 people were present, including Michael Ellis MP, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, the Rt Hon. John Whittingdale OBE MP, former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon. Lord Clement-Jones CBE FRSA, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP FRICS, Mark Hendrick MP, Catherine West MP, Will Quince MP and Alan Mak MP, Deputy Chairs of APPCG, the Rt Hon. Lord Charles Powell KCMG, Dr Lisa Cameron MP and other Lords and MPs, as well as representatives from the business, culture, education and media sectors of China and the UK.

Ambassador Liu noted in his speech that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 65th anniversary of the establishment of China-UK diplomatic relationship at the level of chargé d'affaires. In the past 65 years, China-UK relationship has achieved four major leaps forward. The first one was the leap over ideological barriers and the establishment of diplomatic relationship at the level of chargé d'affaires. The second one was the establishment of ambassadorial diplomatic relationship on the basis of mutual respect. The third one was the settlement of the Hong Kong question, which removed the obstacles leftover from history. The fourth one was the opening of the China-UK "Golden Era" which unleashed the potential of the bilateral relations for greater progress.

He said, “The message of the past 65 years is loud and clear: As long as China and the UK respect each other's core interests and major concerns, treat each other as equals and seek common grounds, China-UK relationship will make progress and develop by leaps and bounds. Otherwise, our relations would suffer setbacks, stall or even retrogress.”

The Ambassador stressed that today’s world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. In face of these challenges, in order to embrace the new opportunities, address the new challenges, and deliver more benefit to the people, three things need to be done to promote China-UK relations. They are to hold fast the responsibility and work for the benefits of all mankind, to stay committed to cooperation and work for win-win results and to adhere to an inclusive approach and deal with differences in an objective and reasonable manner.

Ambassador Liu said, “For China and the UK, building the ‘Gold Era’ is an on-going process of achieving harmony. Our jobs are far from done. Just as true gold stands the test of fire, the ‘Golden Era’ is forged through numerous tests.”

“In the new year, we look forward to working together with the APPCG and people from all walks of life in the UK. I am sure we will take China-UK parliamentary exchanges to a new level, achieve new progress in the cooperation across the board and harvest more ‘golden fruits’ in the China-UK ‘Golden Era’”.

Secretary Hunt said that, as China and Britain are both major countries of the world and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China-UK relationship is one of the most important bilateral relations of the UK. About 20 years ago, he visited China for the first time. Nowadays, enormous changes have happened in China. However, many people don’t understand China’s development and change and even have doubts. China and the UK, with different social systems and cultural traditions, need to enhance mutual understanding. In this respect, China-UK High-Level People-to-People Dialogue (P2P) plays an important role in prompting mutual understanding between the two countries. He is honored to have been the British Chair of the P2P. Looking into the next 20 years, China's rise will have a major impact on everyone in the UK. Britain should further deepen its understanding of China, work hard to eliminate misunderstandings, and continue to promote the development of China-UK relations.

Chairman Graham said that British Parliament attaches great importance to China-related issues. The APPCG is willing to strengthen exchanges with China’s National People’s Congress and encourage more Lords and MPs to visit China.

Lord Sasson said that people would be pessimistic when they only see the problems; however, they would be optimistic when they focus on the outcomes. He hoped that people would face the challenges in a positive attitude and promote China-UK cooperation to achieve more results. The CBBC stands ready to continuously promote China-UK friendly cooperation.

Mr. Balcombe said that as China's tourism market is currently expanding rapidly, China-UK tourism cooperation enjoys huge potential and rapid development. Chinese tourists visiting the UK have created a great number of jobs and the development opportunities for the local areas. He hoped that the tourism cooperation between the two sides would reach a new level in the new year.

Amid the warm and friendly atmosphere, the guests talked about the friendship and cooperation between China and Britain, expressing their best wishes that in the new year China-UK relations would develop steadily to bring more benefit to the people of the two countries.

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