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The Chinese Embassy in the UK Holds 2021 Chinese New Year Reception Online

On 8 February, the Chinese Embassy in the UK held an online event to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Chargé d'Affaires a.i. Chen Wen delivered a speech entitled Leave Winter behind and Sail into Spring. Newly arrived Minister Yang Xiaoguang also addressed the event. Around 200 guests attended the online celebration, including Lord Sassoon, Stanley Johnson, former Member of the European Parliament, Victoria Busby, Director Protocol and Vice-Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Sir Sherard, Chairman of China-Britain Business Council, Stephen Perry, Chairman of the 48 Group Club, Mark Tucker, Group Chairman of HSBC, Noel Quinn, Chief Executive of HSBC, Douglas Blackstock, Chief Executive of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, Peter Mathieson, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Edinburgh, Ian Greer, President and Vice Chancellor of Queen's University Belfast, James Williams, Managing Director of Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, Richard Hatchett, CEO of Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and other representatives from the British government, Parliament, sectors of business, education, culture, science and technology, think tank, and media, and international organizations in the UK, members of London diplomatic corps, Zheng Xiyuan, Ma Qiang, and Zhang Meifang, Consul Generals of China in Manchester, Edinburgh, and Belfast respectively, Fang Wenjian, Chairman of China Chamber of Commerce in the UK, Chu Ting Tang, President of London China Town Chinese Association, Christine Lee, Chair of British Chinese Project, as well as representatives from the Chinese community, Chinese entities and overseas Chinese students in the UK.

Chen began her speech by extending Chinese New Year greetings to all the guests at the event and shared with them the symbolism of the ox in the Chinese culture. She said that, with global economic recession being precipitated by the raging pandemic, the year 2020 was not an easy year for anyone anywhere in the world. Despite the hardship, people have managed to continue forging ahead together. The year 2020 was also an extraordinary year for China. The Communist Party of China led the Chinese people to overcome the difficulties and turn in a report that has won the recognition of both the Chinese people and the international community.

“In particular, we made important achievements in four aspects, namely the prevention and control of Covid-19, the economic and social progress, building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects, and delivering the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind,” added Chen.

The year 2021 is a critical year for both China and the world, noted Chen. China will celebrate the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China and embark on a new journey of implementing the 14th Five Year Plan and building a modern socialist country in all aspects. Countries of the world will continue to face multiple challenges, including fighting the pandemic, reinvigorating the economy, bridging divisions and rebuilding trust. Not long ago, President Xi Jinping spoke at the World Economic Forum Virtual Event of the Davos Agenda. His special address entitled Let the Torch of Multilateralism Light up Humanity’s Way Forward has outlined, loud and clear, “China’s solution” on where the world should be going at this historical crossroads.

“China firmly believes that solidarity and cooperation are the right way to meeting global challenges, and inclusiveness and mutual learning are the right way to common progress. I believe that as long as we follow the major trend of solidarity and coordination, open and win-win cooperation, inclusiveness and mutual learning, mankind will sail into a better future. I also believe that with the care of visionary people from both countries, China-UK relations will embrace a warm and bright spring!” said Chen.

In closing, Chen took the opportunity to bid farewell and expressed her heartfelt thanks to all the friends who have provided support and assistance to her during her tenure in the UK. “I hope visionary people from all sectors of our two countries will work together to ensure the sound and steady development of this important relationship. And I hope all my friends will continue to support the endeavour of the Chinese Embassy in the UK and my successor Minister Yang Xiaoguang”, said Chen.

Minister Yang commended Chen in his speech on her effort in promoting China-UK relationship. He pointed out that both China and the UK are major countries with key international influence. Therefore, in the time of the spreading pandemic and surging global challenges around the world, China and the UK should enhance communication, strengthen mutual trust and expand cooperation, which not only serves the interests of both sides but also contributes to the world peace and development. He shared his passion and vision towards China-UK relationship, expressing his readiness to contribute to a healthy development of China-UK relationship in a new stage and his expectation to a pragmatic cooperation with friends from all walks of life in the UK. He believed that as long as the three key words are observed, namely understanding, respect and cooperation, China-UK relationship is bound to embrace a bright future.

A video of Chinese New Year celebrations in China and around the world, and highlights of Guonian, a production of the National Ballet of China known as Chinese version of the Nutcracker, were screened. Guests extended their Chinese New Year greetings, saying that Chinese New Year is a window on Chinese culture, and the ballet is a wonderful fusion of Chinese and Western cultures. They spoke highly of Chen’s commitment to the friendship and cooperation between China and the UK during her term of office, and wished her greater achievements in her new role. They also welcomed Minister Yang to the UK and looked forward to working closely with him to give new impetus to the development of the China-UK relationship.

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