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Home > Ambassador's Events & Remarks
Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Attends the CBBC Farewell Roundtable and Delivers a Keynote Speech
2021/01/20

On 20 January, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming attended the online farewell roundtable hosted by the China-British Business Council (CBBC) and delivered a keynote speech entitled Shore up Confidence, Seize the Opportunities and Deepen Cooperation. CBBC President Lord Sassoon, Chairman Sir Sherard, and board members, and representatives of its member companies attended the event.

In his speech, Ambassador Liu reviewed the development of China-UK relations since he began his tour of office as the Chinese Ambassador to the UK 11 years ago.

First, new frontiers have been opened up in China-UK mutually-beneficial cooperation. In 2015, President Xi Jinping paid a “super state visit” to the UK, which ushered in the China-UK “Golden Era” and charted the course for the overall China-UK relationship as well as practical cooperation. High-level dialogue mechanisms between China and the UK offered strong impetus for cooperation between the two countries. China-UK cooperation has played a pioneering and leading role in many areas of productive cooperation between China and Western countries.

Second, new records have been made in China-UK trade and investment. The surging bilateral trade and deepening cooperation in investment have made the UK the second largest destination in Europe for Chinese investment. The large-scale Chinese-invested flagship projects in the UK are making steady progress, including Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant and ABP Royal Albert Dock.

Third, new breakthroughs have been achieved in China-UK cooperation on financial services and the BRI. Eight Chinese banks have opened branches in the UK. The Shanghai-London Stock Connect was officially launched, connecting for the first time the Chinese capital market with a foreign one. London has become the world’s largest offshore RMB exchange centre and the second largest offshore RMB clearing centre with a total clearing volume of more than 50 trillion RMB yuan. And as a natural partner for China in BRI cooperation, the UK has sent its special representative of the Prime Minister to attend both sessions of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. China and the UK are also committed to working together in third markets, financing, expertise, and services.

Ambassador Liu pointed out that the productive China-UK business cooperation has delivered tangible benefits to the peoples of both countries. Chinese investment in the UK generated tax revenue and job opportunities for local communities and contributed to the transformation and upgrading of British businesses and the high-quality development of British industries. Looking forward to the promising prospects of China-UK cooperation, the Ambassador put forward three principles that China and the UK can follow in the future. First, China and the UK should bear in mind the big picture, respect each other and strengthen mutual trust. “A sound and stable China-UK relationship is not only in the common interests of peoples of the two countries but also conducive to world peace and development. It is important that China and the UK always have in mind the big picture and long-term interests, view each other's development as opportunities, rather than challenges or threats, and respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, so as to foster favorable conditions for deeper and productive cooperation between the two countries,” said Ambassador Liu.

Second, China and the UK should follow the major trend of the times and shore up confidence. There are both opportunities and challenges in promoting China-UK cooperation. “It is important that we remain confident in the major trend of economic globalisation, in the prospects of China’s opening up and development, and in the future of China-UK mutually-beneficial cooperation. With such confidence, we should hold high the banner of free trade, working together to build an open world economy,” said the Ambassador.

Third, China and the UK should seek and seize opportunities to deepen cooperation. As China is soon opening a new chapter to roll out the 14th Five Year Plan to build the “dual circulation” development paradigm that encourages a reinforcing interaction between the domestic and international markets, and the UK that has just completed Brexit is now entering into a new stage of building a “global Britain”, China and the UK should leverage their respective strengths, coordinate policies and dovetail growth strategies to deepen cooperation in areas such as trade and investment, infrastructure, financial services and high and new technology.

Ambassador Liu spoke highly of CBBC’s efforts in connecting the Chinese and British business communities and deepening tangible business cooperation between the two sides by sharing ideas and thoughts. He thanked CBBC and the business communities for their hard work. He hoped that friends from the business sectors of both China and the UK would continue supporting China-UK relations and mutually beneficial cooperation and contributing their wisdom and efforts to a steady and sound development of China-UK relations.

On behalf of CBBC, Sir Sherard highly commended Ambassador Liu on his diligent work in promoting the friendly cooperation between the UK and China. He expressed his sincere thanks to Ambassador Liu for his efforts in enhancing mutual understanding between the two countries and his heartfelt admiration for Ambassador Liu’s firm belief, extraordinary courage, and remarkable capabilities. He hoped that the UK and China, as key partners to each other, would continue to expand their economic and trade cooperation.

In his speech, Lord Sassoon expressed his reluctance to bidding farewell to Ambassador Liu and his blessings, saying that during Ambassador Liu’s term of office, the economic and trade cooperation between the UK and China has reached to a new high. He thanked the Ambassador for his significant contribution to promoting cooperation between the two countries in areas such as infrastructure and finance.

Representatives of CBBC member companies from manufacturing, finance, energy, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, and other industries spoke in succession at the roundtable, saying that they fully agreed with Ambassador Liu on the future development of UK-China relationship, and expressed their gratitude to Ambassador Liu for his extraordinary work in developing UK-China comprehensive relations and the exchanges and cooperation in various sectors. Ambassador Liu’s wisdom and perspectives have impressed and inspired all, and will continuously inject confidence and positive energy into the cooperation between the two countries. Ambassador Liu has done a wonderful job telling China’s stories, which help the UK to fully and deeply understand China’s development, China’s way, “Chinese speed”, and “Chinese brand”, and borrow China’s experience in fighting the pandemic and maintaining economic growth. Despite the ups and downs of UK-China relationship, it always serves the core interests of both sides to enhance cooperation. Business communities of both sides should cherish the hard-won outcomes of cooperation, and continue making contribution to the sustained and sound development of UK-China relations.

At the roundtable, Ambassador Liu also took questions regarding how to appropriately handle disputes between China and the UK, how to upgrade China-UK cooperation, how to view the status of London as a global financial centre after Brexit, and how to advance cooperation between China and the UK in finance, climate change, and other areas.

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