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Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the "Together We Fight against the Virus" Event Jointly Hosted by the City of London and Chinese and British Business Communities: Together We Fight against the Virus
Guildhall, City of London, 28 February 2020

Lord Mayor Russell,

Chairman Fang,

Lord Sassoon,

Mr. Burn

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends:

Good evening!

Tonight we gather here for a special event – "Together We Fight Against the Virus".

Last week, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Boris Johnson had a telephone conversation. The leaders of our two countries expressed their confidence in victory over the epidemic and agreed that China and the UK will shoulder the responsibility and work together to ensure this victory.

Virus knows no borders. So does love. I have been deeply touched by the decision of the City of London, and Chinese and British business communities to jointly hold today's event, to show their determination and to stand united with China at this critical moment. I think today, with this event, we are demonstrating our determination, our confidence and our perseverance.

First, we have firm determination to win this battle against the virus.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has been the most severe public health crisis since the founding of New China in terms of the speed of its spread, the scope of its impact and the difficulty of prevention and control. The severity of the situation is unprecedented, so are the challenges.

In face of the epidemic, President Xi Jinping has given instructions and mapped out plans in person. 1.4 billion Chinese people are standing united. We have taken decisively the most comprehensive, strict and thorough measures, and waged a "people's war" against the virus.

Thanks to our persistent efforts, the spread of the disease is basically contained, and our measures have taken initial effect. The numbers of newly-added confirmed and suspected cases are on a descending trajectory and there has been a sharp increase in the number of cured cases. Facts prove that the disease is preventable, controllable and curable.

China has shared information about the epidemic with all the relevant parties in a timely manner, including sharing the genetic sequence of the virus and enhancing cooperation on vaccine development. We have been open, transparent and responsible because we believe in a community with a shared future for mankind. Our effective efforts and enormous sacrifice have helped check the spread of the epidemic around the world.

As the Chinese people are fighting hard against the virus, people all over the world have stood firmly together with us. More than 170 heads of states or governments and more than 40 heads of international organisations have conveyed their sympathy and support. The international community has donated fund and supplies in the spirit of mutual assistance. These are living proof of how much we all belong to and are coming together to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

This has reinforced China's confidence that, with the solidarity of its people and broad support of the international community, this battle against the virus can be won!

Second, we have strong confidence in the long-term growth of China's economy.

The epidemic will inevitably have an impact on China's economy. This impact should be viewed from a comprehensive, dialectical and long-term perspective. China's economy is highly resilient and has enormous potential. The fundamentals that sustain long-term growth have not changed and will not change. Therefore, the impact of the epidemic will be short-term and overall controllable.

Last week, President Xi Jinping called a meeting to lay out fifteen priorities in epidemic prevention and control as well as social and economic development. These important measures give us full confidence in turning the crisis into opportunities, minimizing its impact, and achieving this year's goals for social and economic development.

In an age of economic globalisation, countries of the world find themselves invariably associated with one another and sharing the same destiny. China is the second largest economy in the world and an indispensable link in the global industrial chain. While mobilizing all forces within the country to combat the epidemic, China is also making the utmost efforts to resume normal economic activities, and remain committed to opening up and deepen international cooperation. This is China's most important contribution to the world economy at this critical moment.

The World Bank and IMF have expressed full confidence in the resilience of China's economy. Many influential economists have predicted a strong rebound when the epidemic is over. I am sure that when that time comes, the enormous consumer and growth potential will be unleashed, catapulting China's economy back to the right track and enabling China to make new and greater contribution to the common development of the world.

Third, we have untiring perseverance in promoting the steady and sustained development of China-UK relations.

As we fight the epidemic, we are deeply grateful for the support coming from all quarters in the UK. Her Majesty The Queen and Prime Minister Boris Johnson have sent their sympathy and best wishes to China. The British Government has provided urgently needed medical supplies. People from all walks of life here have lent their invaluable support.

  • Lord Mayor Russell conveyed sympathy to the Chinese people on behalf of the City of London.
  • Chinese and British businesses and financial institutions donated money and supplies through various channels.
  • The China Britain Business Council and the China Chamber of Commerce in the UK worked vigorously to coordinate and facilitate these efforts.

Today's event once again sends a strong message from the Chinese and British business communities that China has your support in fighting the virus and China can count on you for advancing cooperation between our two countries.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the China-UK "Golden Era" launched by President Xi Jinping's state visit to the UK in 2015. President Xi and Prime Minister Johnson agreed in their telephone conversation last week that our two countries should work together to make new progress in the next decade of China-UK comprehensive strategic partnership.

Going forward, China and the UK should make the following three efforts:

  • First, we should adopt a long-term perspective, keep to the right direction of the China-UK "Golden Era", and remain committed to win-win cooperation.
  • Second, we should seize the new opportunities, leverage our comparative strengths and tap new potential for business cooperation, so as to take China-UK cooperation to a new level.
  • Third, we should join hands to take up due responsibilities as major global players, uphold multilateralism and free trade, address global challenges and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends:

As a Chinese saying goes, "The strength of grass is revealed in strong wind; and true love is found in hardship".

No matter how severe the situation is, no matter how daunting the challenges are, China will stand united with the international community, including the UK, in the spirit of the community with a shared future for mankind. We will pull in the same direction and go all out to win this battle against the virus!

I am sure that China and the UK will emerge from the test of the epidemic with stronger mutual trust, closer cooperation and deeper friendship. And China-UK "Golden Era" will yield more "golden fruits"!

Thank you!

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