I. What is your preparation for Prime Minister Brown's upcoming visit after you go back to China?
China attaches great importance to Prime Minister Brown's visit. In order to ensure it a success, the competent departments of China, including the Chinese Embassy in the UK, worked closely with their UK counterparts and made many preparations. Most of them have been implemented.
During this visit, the Chinese leaders will meet Prime Minister Brown and exchange views on bilateral relations and international issues of common concerns. The two leaders will attend UK- China Business Summit and deliver speeches; participate in the Townhalll dialogue with Chinese and British general public. Both sides are busy with consultation hoping that concrete results can be achieved in science and technology, health, culture, education, youth exchange, sustainable development and clean energy.
I will return to China shortly to participate in the reception of Prime Minister Brown. I believe Prime Minister Brown will be warmly welcomed by the Chinese government and Chinese people.
II. What's the significance of Brown's first visit to China since taking office? To what extent, it will promote Sino-UK relations? Will the visit be conducive to raise the status of overseas Chinese in UK?
Both sides began to prepare for this visit shortly after Prime Minister Brown took office. Prime Minister Brown chooses China as first leg of his visit to Asia and the Chinese government takes him as the first visiting leader of EU countries this year; these embodies the great importance both sides attached to Sino-UK relationship.
At present, both China and UK are undergoing extensive and profound changes. The areas where our interests meet are constantly expanding and the bilateral relations are growing on solid social and popular basis. The development of Sino-UK relations is facing new opportunities. Prime Minister Brown's visit to China will further strengthen Sino-UK comprehensive strategic partnership and promote all-round dialogue and cooperation between the two countries. The face-to-face exchanges of views between two leaders will not only help to enhance mutual trust but also greatly promote cooperation in specific fields.
The overseas Chinese in UK work hard, help each other and are enthusiastic in promoting public welfare. They have not only made painstaking effort to economic development of both countries, but also contributed greatly to the promotion of Sino-UK relations. Not long ago, Prince Charles praised the contribution made by overseas Chinese to UK social development when he and his wife visited China Town in London. Before his visit to China, Prime Minister Brown had a discussion with representatives of overseas Chinese, students and entrepreneurs in UK, which embodies importance attached by the UK government to overseas Chinese. In recent years, key members of UK and local governments have actively supported China related culture events and paid attention to listening to opinions of overseas Chinese on protecting their legal rights. It can be said that China's development and positive development of Sino-UK relations have promoted mutual understanding and integration of the two peoples, raised status of overseas Chinese in UK, and improved their working, living and study environment .
III. What are the differences in China policies between Prime minister Brown and his predecessor?
The Sino-UK relations have been developing steadily and smoothly in the past 10 years. The two countries announced the establishment of comprehensive strategic partnership in 2004, ushering in new era of bilateral cooperation. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has made great contributions to Sino-UK relations. As the most important cabinet member of Labour Party government, Mr. Brown also played a positive role.
I remember in the speech delivered in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences during his visit to China as Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2005, Brown emphasized China's development was an opportunity not a threat and congratulated China on wining the bid for holding Olympic Games, which drew ardent applause from audience. In September 2007, Prime Minister Brown attended opening ceremony of Exhibition of the First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army held in the British Museum and delivered an ardent speech. He saw the exhibition as "transcontinental gift" presented by China to UK, "cultural Olympic Games" and "summit" of cultural exchanges between the two countries. When meeting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in December 2007, Prime Minister Brown congratulated China on its excellent preparations for Beijing Olympic Games. Chinese people were deeply impressed by these comments.
Prime Minister Brown attaches great importance to emerging Asian countries. He highly evaluated the internaltional role of China and denoted on several occasions that China's participation is essential to resolve major international issues. Prime Minister Brown pays close attention to the reform of international regime and advocates emerging powers such as China and India shall play bigger roles. He hopes that the international community could increase assistance to developing countries, supporting technology and fund transfer in climate and environment issues. The international communities including China pay much attention to these proposals.
IV. What works will the Chinese Embassy in the UK do for new Sino-UK relations?
In current situation, I think it is necessary for the Chinese Embassy in the UK to focus on two aspects:
One is to promote Sino-UK service and technology trade and deepen bilateral cooperation in investment and finance. China is vigorously developing its service industry, strengthening financial reconstructuring and encouraging foreign technologies and investment. UK has an advanced financial service industry, outstanding technological innovation capacity, advanced technologies in environmental protection and emission reduction, good investment environment, and abundant professional talents and management experiences. There are great potentials for bilateral cooperation in service trade, finance and investment.
The other is to promote mutual understanding of the two peoples. Both China and UK have splendid cultures and both peoples have the desire to have closer understanding of each other. Beijing and London will hold the Olympic Games in 2008 and 2012 respectively, which will greatly promote bilateral personnel and cultural exchanges and improve mutual understanding and friendship. At the beginning of the new year, the 3rd "China in London" Spring Festival celebration event sponsored by the Greater London Authority and "China Now" large-scale cultural event lasting for six months initiated by UK business circle will be held though out UK , these will usher in a new upsurge in cultural exchanges between the two countries.
The Chinese Embassy in the UK will increase its input in these two aspects and bring into full play of its role as a window and bridge and make unremitting efforts to promote further development of Sino-UK relations.