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Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the 2020 Chinese New Year Reception for the Chinese Community in the UK: Fruitful Results of Hard Work Lead to Greater Progress in Concrete Steps

Chinese Embassy in the UK, 13 January 2020

My overseas Chinese friends,
Dear students and colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good evening and welcome to the Chinese Embassy!

It is a real delight to have you all with us to celebrate the Chinese New Year together.

In 12 days, the Year of the Rat will begin. Rat is the first of the 12 zodiac animals. According to Chinese tradition, this smart little creature brings a new beginning and good fortune to everyone in the world.

On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, I would like to extend my warmest greetings of New Spring to all of you, and through you, to all the overseas Chinese, Chinese students and staff of Chinese companies in the UK! I wish you a happy and successful Year of the Rat!

The year 2019 is an extraordinary and memorable year. China strived forward relentlessly despite winds and rains. The hard work of the Chinese people yielded abundantly fruitful outcomes.

In 2019, China celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic. It was a year of tremendous pride as we review the achievements of New China. It was a year of audacious spirit as we entered the new era and pooled our strengths in pursuit of the Chinese Dream. We are more confident than ever in China's socialist system!

In 2019, China shifted steadily to high-quality development.

  • China's GDP exceeded $14 trillion, and per capita GDP is expected to reach a new high of $10,000. More than 10 million people were lifted out of poverty.
  • There have been important advancements in winning the "three major battles", namely, targeted poverty reduction, pollution control, and prevention of major risks.
  • There has been progress in the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, the development of Yangtze Economic Belt, the building of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the integration of Yangtze River Delta.

We are more confident than ever in the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics!

In 2019, China achieved new success in a wide range of areas.

  • Chang'e-4 landed on the far side of the moon for the first time in the history of mankind.
  • The carrier rocket Long March-5 Y3 was successfully launched.
  • The global network of BeiDou Navigation Satellite System neared its completion.
  • The icebreaker Xuelong 2 set sail on its maiden voyage to Antarctic.
  • Commercial 5G services were rolled out in a rapid speed.
  • The Beijing Daxing International Airport was opened.

We are more confident than ever in China's growing strength!

In 2019, China celebrated the 20th anniversary of the return of Macao.

Over the past 20 years, Macao has been a splendid success of "One Country, Two Systems" and the Chinese central government has displayed its firm resolve to implement this creative policy fully and faithfully. We are more confident than ever in this pioneering undertaking of China!

In 2019, China continued to embrace the world with open arms.

A number of successful international events were held in China, including

  • the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation,
  • the International Horticultural Exhibition, Beijing,
  • the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations, and
  • the second China International Import Expo.

Through these events, the world saw an open and inclusive civilization that China is proud to be. We are more confident than ever in the open and inclusive culture of China.

In 2019, China worked actively to build a new type of international relations. We held high the banner of multilateralism.

  • We upheld the principles of fairness and justice.
  • We build relations steadily with other major global players.
  • We pursued win-win cooperation vigorously with neighbouring countries and other developing countries.
  • We continued to play a leading role pushing for progress in global governance.
  • And we took positive measures to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

We are more confident than ever in China's concept of the world.

Between China and the UK, 2019 saw us celebrating the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relationship at the chargé d'affaires level. The overall China-UK relations achieved steady progress, with

  • financial cooperation scaling new heights following the tenth China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue,
  • new momentum building in cultural and people-to-people exchanges,
  • and all in all, a new chapter opening in China-UK business cooperation.

Here in the UK, 2019 saw overseas Chinese community, Chinese students and staff of Chinese companies telling China's stories and showing the image of China in their respective and unique ways. Together they have made positive contribution to the development and reunification of the motherland, and to China-UK exchanges and cooperation.

2019 saw the Chinese community in the UK hosting celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of New China, attended by more than 100,000 people. I was at many of these events myself, and was deeply touched by the outpouring of love for the motherland. I also had the honour to present the Medal in Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China to two overseas Chinese, Mr. Harry Chi-Cheung Lee and Madam Meihua Lin.

2019 saw Lady Xuelin Bates, President of Zhejiang UK Association and Zhejiang UK Business Association, and her husband Lord Bates making a month-long walking journey in Zhejiang Province. This has been documented in The New Stories of Zhejiang. In this documentary, they share with the audience their understanding of the new thoughts, new reforms and new measures of China in the new era. I hosted a screening of the documentary at the Chinese Embassy. The positive response once again convinced me that it is extremely important and necessary to tell China's stories well.

2019 saw the 15th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention held in London successfully and set many records, thanks to the painstaking efforts of the UK Chinese Business Association and the strong support from Chinese communities. I have walked every step of this Convention and I think I am in the position to say that this has been a convention for friendship and cooperation between Chinese entrepreneurs across the world; it has also been a convention for the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the UK.

2019 also saw Chinese communities, Chinese students as well as a large number of Chinese associations in the UK, including the London Chinatown Chinese Association and the Heung Yee Kuk New Territories Overseas Advisory Committee, standing up against anti-China elements seeking to destabilise Hong Kong.

They issued statements, gave interviews, sent letters to UK government officials and organised assemblies to expose the grave harm of violent offences in Hong Kong, support the SAR Government in administering Hong Kong in accordance with law, and support Hong Kong police in strict and rigorous enforcement of the law.

Like many of you, I myself have spoken out on many occasions, reiterating the solemn position of China on safeguarding the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, opposing violent offences and opposing the interference by external forces. We remain firm in safeguarding China's sovereignty, security and development interests.

I wish to quote a Chinese poem singing in praise of bamboo.

"In the face of all blows, not bending low, it still stands fast.

Whether from east, west, south or north the wind doth blast."

I am confident that any attempt to interfere in China's internal affairs is doomed to fail! Nothing could stop the Chinese people's from marching forward!

Overseas Chinese,


Dear friends:

The year 2020 will be a milestone. In this year,

  • China will realise the first centenary goal, that is, to complete the building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects.
  • We will eradicate absolute poverty, which will be a historic achievement.
  • And we will embark on a new journey towards greater success.

We will overcome all difficulties and forge ahead with concrete and firm steps.

In the New Year, we will strive for new progress while maintaining overall stability; we will pursue high-quality development by following the new development concept, focusing on supply-side structural reform and promoting reform and opening up; and we will fight and win the "three major battles".

In the New Year, we will continue to work hard in an innovative spirit, and we will try our best to create more "China miracles" in all areas and on all fronts.

In the New Year, we will remain committed to "One Country, Two Systems" and safeguard the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao. We will also remain committed to the one-China principle and the "1992 consensus", and press ahead with the great cause of the peaceful reunification of the nation.

In the New Year, we will

  • hold high the banners of peace, development and win-win cooperation,
  • deepen exchanges and cooperation with other countries,
  • advance the development of the Belt and Road Initiative,
  • work to build a community with a shared future for mankind,
  • and make new contribution to world peace and development.

In the New Year, we will embrace the fifth anniversary of the China-UK "Golden Era", keep China-UK relationship on the right direction and deepen cooperation across the board, so that this relationship will go steady, go far, and deliver more tangible benefits to our two countries and peoples.

In the New Year, the Chinese community in the UK will host a number of important events, including the Chinese New Year celebrations and the tenth Conference of the World Guangdong Community Federation.

It is my hope that overseas Chinese, Chinese students and staff of Chinese institutions in the UK will remain true to their original aspiration and come together to enhance their image and achieve new success. We at the Chinese Embassy are always ready to provide better services and offer staunch support.

As we say goodbye to the Year of the Pig and usher in the Year of the Rat, let's join hands and seize the moment to strive to achieve the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation and create a better future for mankind!

Now may I invite you to join me in a toast:

To the continued prosperity and growing strength of our great motherland,

To the happiness of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups,

To further progress in China-UK relations,

To the health and happiness of every overseas Chinese and friend present tonight,


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