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Chinese Embassy in the UK Hosts Online Reception to Mark the 72nd Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China

On 28 September 2021, the Chinese Embassy in the UK hosted an online reception in celebration of the 72nd Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Ambassador Zheng Zeguang delivered a speech titled Forging Ahead Towards Greater Success. Ms Amanda Milling, Minister of State for Asia at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Mr. Stephen Perry, Chairman of the 48 Group Club, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, Chair of the China-Britain Business Council, and Professor Martin Albrow, Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of the UK, made remarks at the event.

Over 600 guests attended the online event , including Members of the House of Lords and House of Commons, heads of renowned universities, educational organizations, S&T research, academic and cultural institutions, friendship societies and mainstream media outlets, representatives of international organisations and diplomatic envoys based in the UK, representatives of the Chinese community, enterprises and students in the UK. Chinese Consul General to Manchester Mr Zheng Xiyuang, Consul General to Edinburgh Mr Ma Qiang, Consul General to Belfast Ms Zhang Meifang, and Director-General of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London Mr. Gilford Law were also present at the event.

The reception started with the Chinese national anthem "March of the Volunteers" followed by a short video "Beautiful China" which displayed the majestic beauty of the country and the tremendous achievements it has made in economic and social development.

In his speech, Ambassador Zheng said, seventy-two years ago, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China and after courageous and arduous struggles, the Chinese people realized national independence and liberation, founded the New China and became the masters of the nation. Since the founding of New China, the CPC has united and led the Chinese people on the road of strenuous exploration and persistent efforts which has led to the creation of two "miracles" rarely seen in the world, namely, rapid economic growth and sustained social stability. The Chinese nation embarked on a great journey towards rejuvenation.

The Ambassador said, "History is the best textbook". The Chinese people have learned that without the CPC, there would not have been New China, still less the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation; Socialism is the only way to save China, and socialism with Chinese characteristics is the only way to develop China. The Chinese people are highly confident in the path of our own choice. "We will forge ahead along this path with firm strides and achieve new and greater success", said Ambassador Zheng.

A few days ago, after regaining freedom and returning home, Ms. Meng Wanzhou said, 'where the Five-starred Red Flag flies, I find the beacon of faith; and if my faith has colour, it must be China red!' "I believe she spoke for every Chinese citizen," Ambassador Zheng added.

Ambassador Zheng pointed out, amid the unprecedented changes unseen in a century, China is striving forward, with confidence and in firm steps, towards building a strong and modern socialist country in a comprehensive way. This is a China that puts the people front and centre and focuses on high-quality development. China has always regarded the safety of people's lives as the top priority and continued working vigorously to consolidate the hard-won prevention and control achievements. Meanwhile, China is fully and accurately implementing the new development concept, achieving high-quality development. This is a China that is opening up at a higher level and ready to share its opportunities with the world. China will only open its market wider to the world at a higher level. This is a China that promotes fairness, better life and common prosperity for the people. Putting the people at the centre, China has given greater priority to closing the gaps between regions, between the urban and rural areas, and between different income groups. China has entered a historical stage to focus on achieving common prosperity for all Chinese people.

This is a China that promotes world peace and upholds international justice. China remains committed to peaceful development, and promotes the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. China opposes hegemony and power politics, and rejects Cold-War mentality, creation of coteries, and other moves that would lead to division or confrontation. China will always be a defender of world peace, contributor to global development, upholder of international order and provider of public goods. Attempts to contain or besiege China never succeeded in the past and are doomed to fail in the future. No force can stop the Chinese people from making further progress. This is a China that honours its commitments and shoulders its due responsibilities. China has actively supported the international community, especially the developing countries, to respond with the pandemic and global economic recovery. China is aiming to peak carbon emissions before 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. This is China's positive contribution to the global efforts in realising the climate goals set in the Paris Agreement. China is also ready to engage all parties in discussions on biodiversity preservation.

Ambassador Zheng said, "The past 72 years has also seen how the China-UK relations evolved. In recent years, this relationship encountered some setbacks. This does not serve the interest of our two peoples or countries. Zheng expressed his hope that the two sides should make concerted efforts in the following aspects to change the situation.

First, the two sides should have a right understanding of each other's development. It is hoped that people in the UK would see China as it is, transcending ideological barrier and rejecting the misperception that China is a "systemic competitor" or even a threat. "This is the right choice to make because it is in line with the interests of the UK and the common interests of our two countries," said the Ambassador.

Second, the two sides should respect each other. China and the UK have different views on certain issues. That is nothing to be afraid of. The key is to keep the door to communication open and engage in candid dialogue on the basis of equality and mutual respect. "Only in this way can we narrow differences, expand consensus and build up mutual trust," added Zheng.

Third, the two sides should expand exchanges and cooperation. Under the principle of mutual benefit, the two sides should expand cooperation and deepen friendly exchanges in various areas. Such cooperation will bring real benefits to the peoples of both countries. "It is important that our two governments foster a sound and stable political environment and a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for the exchanges and cooperation between our two sides," said the Ambassador.

Fourth, the two sides should display the courage to shoulder responsibilities as major countries. The two sides need to enhance communication and coordination on major global issues such as Covid-19 response, economic recovery and climate change. "We should leverage our respective strengths and help developing countries meet the challenges from diseases, poverty and environmental deterioration. And we should make greater contribution to safeguarding world peace and promoting common development," said Ambassador Zheng.

In closing, Ambassador Zheng said: "It is our sincere hope that countries of the world will live in peace, engage in friendly cooperation and join hands to build a community with a shared future for mankind. As long as our two sides follow the principles of mutual respect, equality and win-win cooperation, and work in the same direction, the China-UK relations will return to the right track and keep moving forward."

On behalf of the UK government, Minister Milling congratulated on the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. She said the UK remains committed to developing a positive and mature partnership with China, carrying out candid dialogues and mutually beneficial trade and investment cooperation with win-win outcome, and working together with China to address global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and Covid-19 pandemic.

Chairman Perry shared the experience of his father Jack Perry in China and spoke highly of New China's accomplishment over the past 72 years since its founding. Marveling at China's complete transformation, he wished China further progress and expressed his willingness to continue playing a positive role in promoting UK-China relationship and bilateral exchange and cooperation.

Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles said, UK-China relationship is of strategic significance and the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries are fruitful and have huge potential. The business community in the UK attaches great importance to the Chinese market, holds strong confidence in China's development and stands ready to make contributions to the healthy and stable development of UK-China relationship.

Professor Albrow said the CPC has led the Chinese people in achieving the first century-old goal of building a well-off society in an all-round way. He wished China continuous and remarkable achievements in the next centenary, so as to bring more benefits to the people of the two countries and beyond.

The guests sent their sincere congratulations on New China's 72nd birthday, speaking highly of China's extraordinary achievement under the CPC's leadership. They wished China prosperity and the people peace and happiness, and expressed their readiness to contribute to greater mutual understanding, and exchange and cooperation in all areas between China and UK.

At the reception, Chinese and British artists put on performances of piano solo "Ode to the Yellow River", piano duet "Laideronnette, Empress of the Pagodas", and soprano solo "I love you, China" much to the delight of the well-wishing guests.

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