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Grasp Historic Opportunity to Promote Sino-UK Cooperation-Speech of Fu Ying at Spring Festival Reception for Overseas Chinese

All present Chinese nationals, friends, guests and colleagues,

I am very happy to celebrate the Spring Festival with you. This year is the Year of Rat. Rat is the first one of the twelve animals representing the twelve Earthly Branches and this year is the beginning of the new round of 12-year cycle, I believe all of you will have good luck this year.

On behalf of Chinese Embassy, I sincerely express our ardent greetings of New Year to you and to the overseas Chinese, Chinese nationals from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, overseas Chinese students and all staff of Chinese institutions in UK.

Yesterday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown also expressed his best wishes to the Chinese people and whishing that China could hold the best Olympic Games in the history. I am extremely glad to the sincerity of Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

I just returned from China yesterday. The visit of Prime Minister Brown to China was a great success. I'd like to brief you on the fruits of this visit by counting from one to ten .

One goal, both sides unanimously agreed that they would look at the importance of the Sino-UK cooperation at a strategic level and from a global view and would deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership between two countries.

Two levels, both sides determined to strengthen their dialogue and cooperation in both bilateral and international levels.

Three joint events, both countries will jointly support and participate in  "China Now" in UK, the Olympic Games to be held in Beijing and London, and Shanghai Expo.

Four important visits in the near future, Mr. Tang Jiaxuan, State Councillor, will visit UK in February 2008 and attend the opening ceremony of "China Now". David Miliband MP, Foreign Secretary and Alistair Darling MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer plan to visit China in succession in the first half of 2008. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has invited Prime Minister Brown to watch the Beijing Olympic Games.

Five key cooperation fields, including technology trade, joint innovation, energy and environmental protection, finance service industry and intellectual property right.

Sixty billion dollars, the goal of USD 40 billion for the bilateral trade volume  has been realized two years in advance, the next goal is USD 60 billion dollars by 2010.

Seven important meetings and visits, Chinese President Hu Jintao, NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao have met Prime Minister Gordon Brown separately, Prime Minister Brown attended the UK-China Business Summit and a Townhall dialogue with the general public. He also visited Bird's Nest, the main Olympic stadium and Shanghai.

Eight hundred million dollars of contract amount, which is the total amount of a series of cooperative agreements by enterprises of both countries during the visit. The amount of the projects in the future according to the negotiation of both countries will be far more than the amount.

Nine consensuses, including upgrading finance dialogue to vice-premier level, setting up youth exchange mechanism, setting new goal of bilateral trade by 2010, initiating "Science Bridge" program, making plan for innovative partnership in health, implementing cooperation plan facing 2012 Olympic Games, strengthening cooperation in climate change and building sustainable cities, increasing  negotiation and coordination in international issues, and promoting positive progress in reform of international system and Doha Round of WTO negotiation.

Ten cooperative agreements, including China-UK Joint Statement on Climate Change, Memorandum of Understanding on Design, Implementation and Financing of Chin's Sustainable Development of Eco-city Program.

Generally speaking, the visit has a good preparation and rich fruits. It built a good foundation for further development of Sino-UK relationship and creates a better environment for overseas Chinese to start enterprises and develop in UK.

Prime Minister Brown held a tea party for representatives of the overseas Chinese in UK before his visit to China, which is the first party of its kind in UK. It sufficiently shows great attention and friendship of UK toward China and toward Chinese nationals. It also shows great rise of status and role of the overseas Chinese in UK in the context of China's development and strength.

As to domestic situation, current focuses of the government are implementing spirit of the 17th CPC Congress and addressing all kinds of international and national challenges affecting China's development.

When meeting Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Chinese President Hu Jintao exchanged opinions with him on uncertain factors in current international economic situation. President Hu also talked about his utmost concerns at present: rise of the grain price, energy supply and financial stability.

When attending Townhall dialogue with the general pubic together with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao also talked about the measures taken by Chinese government to upgrade  people's livelihood.

The attitude and practice of Chinese leaders in paying attention to people's livelihood and serving fundamental demands of the public left a deep impression in UK guests.

At present, another urgent problem is addressing the serious snowstorm in central and southern China. Maybe you have heard about it in the news. Premier Wen Jiabao has visited the afflicted area in Hunan, where 25,000 vehicles are blocked, 60,000 persons are stranded, 50 trains are behind schedule and more than 10,000 persons are held up in Changsha Railway Station. The Central Committee of the CPC and the State Council are mobilizing all forces to offer help to the affected people.

I would like to express sincere solicitude to those people on behalf of you and I hope overseas Chinese could express their support through their channels to China.

2008 is a very important year to the world and to Chinese people. It is the 30th anniversary after China's reform and opening up and the year for Beijing Olympic Games. We are confident and capable to hold a successful Olympic Games and I hope the overseas Chinese in UK could continue to pay attention to and support Beijing Olympic Games in multiple forms. At present, some persons are spreading all kinds of remarks in the world with the attempt of jeopardizing Beijing Olympic Games. Their activity is against public will and is doomed to failure. The ceremony of Olympic Torch Relay will be held in UK and I plan to be the first runner. I hope overseas Chinese in UK could actively participate in the event, cheer the Olympic games and China. The serial event of "China Now" will also be held in UK this year, about 800 activities will be held all over UK then. I also hope the overseas Chinese in UK could enthusiastically participate in the event.

The Sino-UK relationship is developing healthily and rapidly. China is continuously making achievements in its modernization construction and its course of peaceful unification, and all work of the Chinese Embassy in the UK goes smoothly, all these are closely connected with efforts of the overseas Chinese nationals, here I would like to express my sincere thanks to you.

I hope you could grasp historic opportunity for all-round development of  Sino-UK relationship and make more brilliant achievements to Sino-UK friendship.

For the coming new year, for your health and for prosperity of our great country, cheers!