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Ambassador Fu Ying Presented Credentials to Her Majesty the Queen and Held Reception

On 12 June 2007, Ambassador Fu Ying presented credentials to Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II. In conformity with the British royal etiquette, Fu Ying, her husband Hao Shiyuan and her entourage went to Buckingham Palace in traditional red royal carriages accompanied by Sarah Gillette, Vice-Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps and Sir Anthony Figgis, Her Majesty's Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps.


Queen Elisabeth II greeted Fu Ying and her entourage with smiles in the ceremonial hall. Fu Ying presented credentials issued by Chinese President Hu Jintao and conveyed his compliment and congratulation on her official birthday to the Queen. The Queen welcomed Fu Ying as the Chinese ambassador to the Court of St.James, expressed thankfulness to President Hu Jintao for his greeting and congratulation and requested Fu Ying to convey her compliment to President Hu.


Queen Elisabeth II said that she was glad to receive President Hu Jintao and his wife visiting UK in 2005 and hoped that they were satisfied with their visit. Fu Ying said not only President Hu and his wife cherished a beautiful memory of the visit, but also the Chinese people had a good impression when the Queen and President Hu attended the opening ceremony of exhibition on historical relics from Imperial Palace "The Three Emperors" held in Royal Academy of Arts together. Fu Ying reaffirmed that President Hu invited the Queen to visit China again at her convenience. The Queen expressed thankfulness for it.


Queen Elisabeth II recollected her first visit to China in 1986, which left deep and good impression on her. She even walked down to the pits when she visited Emperor Qinshihuang's terra cotta warriors and horses in Xi'an and found that every warrior has different appearance, which reflects consummate production process of ancient China and its long history and culture. Fu Ying introduced the progress of archaeological studies and excavation on Qinshihuang's Mausoleum and important archaeological discoveries in China in recent years. Fu also pointed out that instead of excavating all the underground relics, some relics which cannot be stored properly with modern technology and conditions should be left to posterity. The Queen agreed with her.


As to the bilateral relations between China and Britain, Fu Ying briefed that the volume of trade between the two countries is increasing year by year, UK with over 5,000 enterprises and projects in China is top investor among EU countries, and lots of Chinese enterprises have began to explore the UK market. There have been over 90,000 Chinese students studying in UK. Personnel exchanges between the two countries reached 500,000 last year. Fu Ying speak highly of the active role played by Prince Andrew and Princess Annie in promoting economic, trade and cultural exchanges between the two countries, and the Queen was gratified at that.


Fu Ying specially talked about the close cultural exchanges between China and UK. Having held a cultural show entitled "Britain and the World" in the Imperial Palace in Beijing, the British Museum will present the exhibition of Qinshihuang's terra cotta warriors and horses from Shaanxi Province in London in September, which will be one of the largest Chinese cultural relics exhibitions abroad in recent decades with more than 200 Chinese antiques and 20 terra cotta warriors and horses on display. The British Museum specially converted the Reading Room to display terra cotta warriors and horses. The Queen showed great interest in it and was looking forward to watching Qinshihuang's terra cotta warriors and horses in person. Fu Ying welcomed the Queen to the exhibition.


The Queen mentioned the Olympic Games which will be held in Beijing next year will be a great event to China and the world. She pointed out that considering the constantly changing world and complicated situation, as well as the large number of personnel involved, the security work of the Olympic Games must be arduous. Fu Ying introduced the preparations of Beijing Olympic Games and Sino-UK Olympic cooperation, indicating China and UK can cooperate on Olympic Games and learn from each other since Britain not only possesses the experience of hosting Olympic Games but will host Olympic Games in 2012. The Queen said although it was exciting that UK had won the right to host the 2012 Olympic games, many efforts would be needed to hold the Olympic Games successfully.


Fu Ying presented to the Queen a true replica of 16 volume of the Compiled British Illustration. The imitated gilded wooden box containing the books was put at the side of the ceremonial hall during presenting credentials. Full of interest, the Queen invited Fu to look through the books together and inquired about details of its provenance and content. Ambassador Fu elaborated the story that British King George III sent Lord Macartney to China for the purpose of celebrating the 83rd birthday of Emperor Qianlong as well as establishing more extensive trade relations with China, who arrived in China in 1792 after two years of journey with 590 gifts. The Compiled British Illustration was the 10th gift which refleced British natural landscape and sights of human interest at the time, revealing the complete picture of the construction and development of the UK 200 years ago. After being read by Emperor Qianlong, The Compiled British Illustration was kept in the archives of Qing's royal government and transferred to the State Archives Administration of China The Compiled British Illustration. Being wrapped up in exquisite brocade, the Compiled British Illustration is intact after 200 years. Sifted by the staff in 2005, it was provided for the publisher to make replica for academic and research use. It once participated in London book fair.


Fu Ying opened the Compiled British Illustration to watch the ancient look of British cities, famous architectures and scenic spots together with the Queen. Deeply delighted to see the pictures of Windsor Castle 200 years ago in which she herself is living all the year around and marveled at the provenance of the books and the emulate technology, the Queen expressed thankfulness to China for keeping the precious historical materials recording British and royal history and returning the replica to British royal family.


The Queen wish Ambassador Fu all the best during her tenure, then met with the accompanying Minister-Counselor Pan Hejun, Military Attaché Zhang Jianguo, Minister-Counsellor for Technology Wang Baoqing and Cultural Counselor Ke Yasha and inquired about their work and family. The Queen had a warm conversation with Fu Ying's husband Hao Shiyuan, when she learnt that Hao is an anthropologist, she asked the current situation of Chinese anthropology and development of Chinese ethnic affairs, and expected Hao Shiyuan to come to UK to accompany Fu Ying in his spare time.


According to the convention, Fu Ying and her husband gave a reception in the embassy after presenting credentials. Over 200 guests including Marshal Sir Fergus, Mike Gapes , Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament, Baroness Lydia Selina Dunn, Member of the House of Lords, Mr Sebastian Wood, Director of Asia Pacific Department, diplomatic envoys to the UK and overseas Chinese in the UK were present.


In his speech, Sir Fergus expressed welcome to Ambassador Fu and her husband and called Fu's presenting credentials a major event in diplomatic circles of London. In the subsequent speech, Fu Ying briefed the process of presenting credentials and conversation with the Queen and talked about the economic and trade, educational and personnel exchanges between China and UK.


Fu Ying indicated she was honoured to be the Ambassador to the UK at the time when Chinese economy is developing fast and Sino-UK relations improve rapidly. The achievements in Sino-UK relations do not easily come by, and she would like to extend sincere congratulation and thankfulness to the UK friends and her predecessors who made contributions to the development of bilateral relations. No pains, no gains, Fu Ying said, and she is looking forward to fully cooperating with everyone to push the bilateral relations to a new height. 


After the reception, Fu Ying was interviewed by China's Central TV Station(CCTV) and Phoenix TV, describing the scene of presenting credentials in which the reports had strong interest. She said the Queen was dressed in pink one-piece dress with pleasant smiles, whose amicability towards China came through in overtones. She also mentioned the carriage she took is a bright coloured antique with a history of over 160 years which had expensive and cosy decorations and can operate properly despite some awkward when opening and closing the door. When the carriage walked through downtown and streets of the city, all the strangers and tourists were friendly towards them. She expressed her appreciation and thankfulness to UK for introducing foreign ambassador to its people in such a solemn way. 


Fu Ying arrived in London on 10 April, and had started carrying out her work prior to the official presentation of credentials.