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Minister Ma Hui Attends 2020 Chinese New Year Reception Hosted by Standard Life Aberdeen
2020/01/29

On January 28, Minister Ma Hui of the Chinese Embassy in the UK attended and addressed the 2020 Chinese New Year Reception hosted by Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA). Nearly 50 people were present, including Sir Douglas Flint CBE, SLA Chairman, Martin Gilbert, SLA Vice Chairman, Keith Skeoch, SLA CEO, Katharine Braddick, Director General of Financial Services at HM Treasury, Richard Burn, HM Trade Commissioner for China of the UK, representatives from the British government, business and financial sectors, including the Investment Association, China-Britain Business Council, London Stock Exchange Group, Arup Group Limited, KPMG, Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, and Agricultural Bank of China London Branch, etc.

Sir Douglas extended his Chinese New Year greetings to all the Chinese friends present, noting that it was the second Chinese New Year Reception hosted by SLA. He expressed his deep sympathy to people affected by the Covid-19 epidemic in Wuhan and other places in China. He spoke highly of China’s prevention and control measures, believing that through joint efforts, the battle against the epidemic outbreak could be won. The British government’s decision to continue to involve Huawei in the construction of 5G networks in the UK is a correct choice conducive to the economic development of the UK and the “Golden Era” of China-UK relations. He looked forward to greater progress of China-UK relations in 2020.

In his speech, Minister Ma said, “This year’s Spring Festival comes at an unusual time. The novel coronavirus is spreading in China. The Chinese Government gives top priority to the safety of life and health of the Chinese people. A series of extraordinary and stringent prevention and control measures have been taken by both the central and local governments.” “We have released information about the virus in a timely, accurate and transparent manner. We have also shared the information with the World Health Organisation, other relevant national and regional organisations, and the regions of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, so as to work together to address the crisis and safeguard the health and safety of people across the world. Under the strong leadership of the Central Government of China, and with the broad support of the international community, including the UK, we have the resolve and confidence to beat the virus.”

Ma noted that in 2019, China enjoyed political and social stability and achieved high-quality economic growth. Per capita GDP crossed the $10,000 line for the first time. A number of important policies and measures to further deepen reform, expand opening up and strengthen international cooperation were rolled out, involving investment, banking, securities, insurance, fund management and many other areas that the British business community cares about.

According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report, China’s global “ease of doing business” ranking has risen from 46 to 31. China is one of the top ten economies with the biggest improvement in their business environment for the second year in a row. The Chinese Government took vigorous measures to address challenges from both home and abroad, including China-US economic and trade frictions. Thanks to the concerted efforts of both China and the US, the two sides signed the Phase-one economic and trade agreement in January 2020 on the basis of respect and mutual benefit. This agreement could help ease the tension caused by trade frictions, reduce uncertainties and increase certainties in the market, boost the confidence of market players, create opportunities and promote prosperity. Therefore, it is conducive to the steady and sound growth of the overall China-US relations, a sound international environment, and world peace and development. This agreement conforms to WTO rules and is not targeted at or harmful to the legitimate rights and interests of any third party. In a word, this agreement is beneficial to China, to the US and to the whole world.

The British government’s decision to continue to include Huawei in the UK’s 5G network is in the interest of the UK and conducive to the “Golden Era” of China-UK relations and an open international economy. “It is my hope that the business communities of our two countries will show your pioneering spirit, and take full advantage of the invaluable opportunities of China’s high-quality economic growth, of Brexit and of the China-UK ‘Golden Era’. I am sure you will achieve more fruitful outcomes,” Ma added.

Guests attended the reception spoke highly of China’s economic achievements and major measures to deepen reform and expand opening up, saying that they are optimistic about China’s prospects and market potential, and are ready to further deepen cooperation with China and achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.

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