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· The Daily Telegraph Publishes a Signed Article by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Entitled 'Gunboat diplomacy' does not promote peace(2019-03-21)
· Madam Hu Pinghua, Wife of Chinese Ambassador to the UK Visits Kensington Wade Prep School(2019-03-16)
· Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Welcoming Dinner for Chairman Zhou Xiaochuan: Join Hands to Forge Ahead for A New Chapter of China-UK Financial Cooperation(2019-03-13)
· Minister Ma Hui Attends China International Publishing Group "Chinese in the Eyes of the British" Book Exhibition and Launch Ceremony at London Book Fair 2019(2019-03-12)
· A Lecture on the Belt and Road Initiative by the Chinese Embassy to Six Form Pupils(2019-03-09)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Meets with Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury(2019-03-09)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Meets with Menna Rawlings, New FCO Director General of Economic and Global Issues(2019-03-08)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming attends and answers questions at panel discussion of the Concordia Africa Initiative(2019-03-02)
· Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Chinese for Labour Gala Chinese New Year Banquet 2019: Put People First and Deliver Benefits to the People(2019-02-28)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Attends the Annual Gala Chinese New Year Banquet 2019 Hosted by Chinese for Labour(2019-02-28)
· Minister Chen Wen Attends the Seventh Tou Ying Tracker Award-giving Ceremony(2019-02-28)
· The Guardian Publishes a Signed Article by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Entitled Gunboat diplomacy can only harm Britain's relationship with China(2019-02-27)
· Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the "A Bite of China: A Private Banquet to Celebrate Chinese New Year": East Meets West in the Beauty of Harmony(2019-02-23)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming and Madame Hu Pinghua Host a Reception Bidding Farewell to Minister Zhu Qin and Welcoming Minister Chen Wen(2019-02-21)
· Keynote Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the KPMG Breakfast Meeting: The Chinese Economy: What has changed and what has not?(2019-02-21)
· Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Reception to Bid Farewell to Minister Zhu Qin and Welcome Minister Chen Wen: Pass on the Baton of China-UK Friendship(2019-02-20)
· The Daily Telegraph Publishes a Signed Article by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Entitled China will bring further opportunities to the world as its economy remains robust(2019-02-19)
· Minister Ma Hui Attends Chinese New Year Reception Hosted by Standard Life Aberdeen(2019-02-15)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Meets with Richard Burn, HM Trade Commissioner for China of the UK(2019-02-15)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Meets with Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport(2019-02-15)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Attends Chinese New Year Celebration at Trafalgar Square(2019-02-13)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Attends Chinese New Year Dinner 2019 Hosted by the Cities of London and Westminster Conservative Association(2019-02-13)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming and Wife celebrate the Spring Festival with HRH The Duke of York(2019-02-13)
· Keynote Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Conservative China Group House of Commons Breakfast: Three Choices in China-UK Relations(2019-02-13)
· Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the HSBC Chinese New Year Celebration 2019: Pool Our Wisdom to Create Prosperity(2019-02-13)
· Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Chinese New Year Dinner by the Cities of London and Westminster Conservative Association: Cement the Foundation for the Edifice of China-UK Relations(2019-02-12)
· Ambassador Li Xiaoming Gives an Interview to China Daily at the Chinese New Year Celebration at Trafalgar Square(2019-02-11)
· Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Opening Ceremony of Festival of Spring, Chinese New Year Celebration(2019-02-11)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Meets with Robert Neill MP, Chair of the Parliament's Justice Select Committee, and Alan Hoo Hong-ching, Senior Counsel of Hong Kong(2019-02-09)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Meets with Peter Estlin, Lord Mayor of the City of London(2019-02-09)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming and Madame Hu Pinghua Attend Chinese New Year Reception of the China-UK Charity Initiative(2019-02-09)
· Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the China-UK Charity Initiative Reception in Celebration of the Year of the Pig: Promote Cooperation through Charity(2019-02-09)
· Minister Ma Hui Attends Chinese New Year Reception 2019 Hosted by the Welsh Government(2019-02-09)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming met with Sir Danny Alexander, Vice-President and Corporate Secretary of Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank(2019-02-07)
· Minister Ma Hui Attends the Belt and Road Initiative and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor APPG Inquiry Launch(2019-02-05)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming and Madam Hu Pinghua Attend Chinese New Year Dinner 2019 Jointly-hosted by the 48 Group Club and the China Chamber of Commerce in the UK(2019-02-02)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming and Madam Hu Pinghua Attend the China Lates of the Science Museum(2019-02-02)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming and Wife Attend the 2019 Chinese New Year Celebration Reception Hosted by Prime Minister May(2019-02-01)
· Keynote Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the "Icebreakers" Chinese New Year Dinner 2019: Carry on the "Icebreakers" Spirit and Take China-UK Relations Forward(2019-02-01)
· Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the China Lates of the Science Museum: A Delightful Taste of China, A Closer China-UK Bond(2019-01-31)
· The Chinese Embassy in the UK Holds the China-UK Chinese New Year Reception for Education Partners(2019-01-30)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Attends the 2019 CSSAUK Chinese New Year Gala(2019-01-30)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Attends 2019 APPCG Chinese New Year Reception(2019-01-30)
· Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the APPCG Chinese New Year Reception: Build Common Ground for a Truly "Golden Era"(2019-01-29)
· Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the 2019 CSSAUK Chinese New Year Gala: Align the Small Dream with the Big Mission(2019-01-29)
· The Sunday Telegraph Publishes a Signed Article by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Entitled Don't listen to the scaremongers – Huawei is not a security threat to Britain(2019-01-28)
· The Chinese Embassy Holds a Reception for Participants of the China-UK Mathematic Teacher Exchange Programme(2019-01-28)
· Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the China-UK Mathematic Teacher Exchange Programme Reception: Make Greater Contribution to China-UK Educational Exchange and Cooperation(2019-01-26)
· Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Holds Talks with The Daily Telegraph Editors and Gives an Interview(2019-01-23)
· The Daily Telegraph Publishes a Signed Article by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Entitled Dialogue and co-operation are the only way to cyber security(2019-01-22)
The Daily Telegraph Publishes a Signed Article by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Entitled 'Gunboat diplomacy' does not promote peace
2019/03/21

On 20 March 2019, the Daily Telegraph and its website published a signed article by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming entitled 'Gunboat diplomacy' does not promote peace. The full text is as follows:

Asserting their nation’s right to freedom of navigation has long been an excuse for certain Western politicians to flex their military muscles by sending naval vessels to the South China Sea. I want to set the record straight on three key issues about the sea in the hope that such behaviour will end.

First, freedom of navigation in the South China Sea is already protected under international law. Every year, more than 100,000 merchant vessels, which between them account for one third of the world’s seaborne trade, pass through the South China Sea. Never has any single one of them been interrupted or impeded. For China, the world’s largest trader in goods in 2018 (with trade valuing $4.62 trillion) and a key trading partner for more than 130 countries and regions in the world, the South China Sea is the route taken by more than 60 per cent of its seaborne trade.

The majority of the goods traded between the UK and China, which last year topped $80 billion for the first time, were shipped through the South China Sea. What’s more, 85 per cent of our energy imports also pass through it. There can be no doubt that the South China Sea has the world’s busiest, safest and freest shipping lanes.Those who keep calling “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea an issue are therefore, as a Chinese adage so aptly describes, “worrying about troubles of their own imagination”.

Second, the situation in the South China Sea is not as unstable as is often claimed. Yes, there are disputes over territorial sovereignty, maritime rights, and interests which involve complicated elements of history, law, politics and even national sentiments.

But, the only way to a proper settlement is through negotiation and consultation on the basis of the free will and sovereign equality of the parties concerned. That is exactly what we and other nations have been working towards.

Over the years, China and members of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have been working actively to address the South China Sea issue. Together we signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in 2002. Since then we have conducted vigorous negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) which resulted in a single draft text of the COC, the first reading of which will have been completed by the end of this year.

The parties have also agreed on China’s proposal to complete COC negotiations within three years.

The relevant disputes have not affected the development of bilateral relations between China and other states in the region. Rather, they have prompted the parties to sit down together and discuss plans to achieve stability and safeguard peace. The most recent example was President Xi Jinping’s successful state visit to the Philippines, during which China and the Philippines reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on future co-operation on oil and gas development in the area.

All these show that the countries surrounding the South China Sea have the confidence, capability and wisdom to deal with their differences properly and maintain steady progress towards improving the situation.

Which brings me to my third point, the behaviour of other countries who choose to send warships on so-called “freedom of navigation” operations.

The South China Sea is more than three million square kilometres in area and has numerous shipping lanes. However, some still choose to steer their navy warships close to the waters adjacent to China’s islands and reefs. Some even illegally enter China’s territorial waters.

These moves flagrantly infringe upon China’s sovereignty and maritime rights, deliberately drive a wedge between China and its neighbours, and exacerbate regional tensions. If these acts of gunboat diplomacy, motivated by a Cold War mentality, are not deliberate attempts to stir up trouble then I don’t know what is. The world must say no to these hegemonic actions.

How can we possibly have international justice and order if a country is free to run amok on another’s doorstep just because it has a few ocean-going warships? “Freedom of navigation” is not a licence to do whatever one wants.

The South China Sea needs peace rather than conflict, stability rather than turbulence. It serves the interests of not only countries in the region but also all the countries in the world. That is why it is vital that countries outside the region come to recognise how important this is to all people, and contribute to the peace and stability of the South China Sea, rather than doing the opposite.

The UK plans to build a “global Britain” after Brexit. My understanding of the word “global” entails strategic thinking and a broad vision. It means active contribution to world peace and development, rather than the old-fashioned gunboat diplomacy I have heard being suggested in some quarters. As a country of vision and wisdom, the UK should be able to make a choice that can stand the test of time.

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