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Chargé d'Affaires a. i. and Minister Yang Xiaoguang Gives Online Briefing on "Two Sessions" 2021 to British and Chinese Business Communities
2021/03/31

On March 30, Chargé d'Affaires a. i. and Minister Yang Xiaoguang of the Chinese Embassy in the UK attended the online briefing on “Two Sessions” 2021 co-hosted by the 48 Group Club, China Chamber of Commerce in the UK, and China-Britain Business Council, where he delivered a keynote speech entitled New Vision, New Blueprint and New Opportunities and took questions from the participants. Over 200 guests attended the event, including Stephen Perry, Chairman of the 48 Group Club, Fang Wenjian, Chairman of China Chamber of Commerce in the UK, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles and Matthew J. Rous, Chairman and Chief Executive of China-Britain Business Council, and representatives from both British and Chinese communities in the UK.

Minister Yang said that this year’s “two sessions” deliberated on and adopted the Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035. This document is a guideline for China’s new journey of building a modern socialist country in a comprehensive way and realizing the second centenary goal. It also maps out China’s economic and social development in the coming five years and beyond. Yang briefed the participants on five main contents of this importance of the document, namely, focusing on high-quality development, advancing scientific and technological innovation and cooperation, promoting green development, striving for a better life for the people, and providing greater openness at a higher level.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC and it is also the year when China embarks on the new journey of fully building a modern socialist country and the first year under the 14th Five Year Plan, Yang pointed out. China will enter a new development stage, implement the new development philosophy and make vigorous efforts to build a new development paradigm. This will create three opportunities for both the Chinese and British business communities: open market and win-win results, innovation for the future, and green development with huge potential.

Yang stressed, “A healthy and sound China-UK relationship is in the common interests of both countries and peoples”. “China is not a ‘threat’ or ‘systemic competitor’, but a partner for cooperation. It is true that China and the UK differ in political and social system, but this should not prevent the two countries from carrying out cooperation. The world is facing urgent issues and common challenges, such as fighting the pandemic, tackling climate change and safeguarding energy security. There is no reason why China and the UK should abandon cooperation and risk confrontation. Cooperation is the only choice.”

“It is my hope that my briefing today will help strengthen confidence in the prospects of China’s open development, in the future of China-UK mutually beneficial cooperation, and in the major trend of economic globalization. I look forward to working with you to promote win-win cooperation between China and the UK, and write a new chapter for world peace and development,” Yang said.

After his speech, Yang took questions regarding the impact of the UK sanctions against China on China-UK relationship, the prospects of business cooperation and personnel exchanges between China and the UK, the increasing hate crimes towards Chinese in the UK during the pandemic, and the role of the Chinese Embassy in the UK in advancing the development of China-UK relationship, etc.

Yang pointed out that China-UK relationship is going through some difficulties, which has some impact on the business cooperation between the two sides. The British side should take full responsibility, not least due to its unilateral sanctions on relevant Chinese personnel and entities based on lies and disinformation and under the excuse of so-called “human rights issue in Xinjiang”. This is a blatant violation of the international law and basic norms of international relations, and wanton interference in China’s internal affairs, and has inevitably caused severe damages to China-UK relationship. China dose not provoke troubles, nor is China afraid when others do. Hence, China had to respond with fair, reasonable and appropriate countermeasures. The Chinese side urges the British side to abandon the Cold War mentality, take effective measures at the earliest date to correct mistakes, and take concrete steps to foster conditions for the healthy development of China-UK relations.

Yang emphasized that China will continue its opening up, and with its huge market, continue to provide enormous opportunities for companies from all the countries, including the UK. The Chinese and British economies are highly complementary and enjoy great potential for cooperation. The Chinese side will continue to firmly support stronger and win-win business cooperation between China and the UK. British companies are welcomed to continue to invest and do business in China.

Yang expressed his hope that the British companies could see through the false information, make the right decision and stay away from politicizing business cooperation. He also hoped that the British business community will strengthen their confidence in the prospects of China-UK relationship, contribute ideas and advice about advancing cooperation with China and play their role in bringing the bilateral relationship back onto the right track at an earliest date.

                   

                   

Participants appreciated Yang’s update which offered better understanding of the prospects of China’s development and the opportunities for cooperation between the UK and China, and agreed that the business communities of both sides should seize the opportunity, strive for new results in the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries and contribute to the development of the overall UK-China relations.

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