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Fu Ying Ready to Work with British Business Community to Promote China-UK Relations

On April29th, Ambassador Fu Ying attended a luncheon hosted by KPMG UK. About 14 people from the senior management of British financial, energy, engineering, medical companies and a Chinese representative from International Accounting Standards Board attended and Mr. Griffith-Jones, Chairman of the KPMG UK hosted the luncheon.

Fu Ying thanked KPMG UK for providing her this opportunity to attend the party and talk to business leaders in the UK.

She first outlined the macro economic situation in China in 2008. She said, in the National People's Congress this March, some web portals set up a survey section 'Questions for the Premier' for the public. Surprisingly, the number of hits in two weeks was as high as 45 million, and people asked 3 million questions, 500,000 more than last year. Issues about inflation, housing, medical treatment and people's livelihood were among the most discussed problems.

Fu Ying pointed out that since the second half year of 2007, the inflation rate has risen steeply mainly as the result of rising prices of food and other primary products. Labour cost also went up. Because CPI of the first quarter increased by 8%, the high growth rate of RMB's value has led to the inflow of hot money. Under the impact of sub-prime crisis and slowing down of global economy, the macro economic control faces a complex and difficult situation this year. Furthermore, the macro economic measures of China and its major trade partners are going in opposite directions, which has intensified the risk and uncertainty of the external economic environment.

Fu Ying said, Premier Wen Jiabao elaborated on the main goals for macro control in his Report on the Work of Government, which was the 'Two Preventions', namely to prevent economic growth from overheating, and to prevent structural price rise from becoming overall inflation. China's first quarter GDP growth was 10.6%. China believes that through prudent financial policy, tight monetary policy and other necessary administrative measures, it will be in a sound position in working towards the goals of macro control for this year and achieve fast and healthy economic development. She also urged the leaders in the British business community to promote Chinese enterprises 'going global' efforts, and achieve win-win benefits.

Fu Ying emphasized that the Chinese people believe The Olympics is the most important celebration which provides opportunities to present China's image, and be acknowledged by the world. All the Chinese, especially the youth, support The Olympics entirely and are full of hope. However, they have been deeply hurt by the prejudice and biased reporting of some western media, who damaged their own reputation and had an image crisis in China. The welcome given by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to the Olympic torch and Princess Anne attending and addressing the closing ceremony were very impressive for Chinese people.

Fu Ying said, there should not be distortion and fabrication when the media report about China. The Chinese Embassy will engage more with British media and the public to encourage and promote closer China-UK cooperation. She called on British businesses to support the development of China-UK relations, and work with China to overcome difficulties and build cooperation in every field.

Griffith-Jones said that, recently some media blindly pursued negative reports of the Olympic Torch Relay, and the voices of Chinese have not been adequately reflected. However, the Chinese people should not forget they still have a lot of friends in the West, who cherish China as their important partner, and entirely support the building of a win-win friendship. Their position will not change. They believe the relationship between the UK and China will stand the test and enjoy a better future. The CEO of Kingfisher is the 13th bearer of the Torch Relay in London. He shared his happy experience as a torch bearer and said the Kingfisher's commitment to China will not change.

Fu Ying also answered questions about Tibet, the stock market, the RMB exchange rate, medical reform, imbalanced development among regions and so on.