|Future for Local Cooperation between China and Britain Bright|
On 2 September Ambassador Fu Ying visited Canterbury in Kent and held cordial talks with Colin Carmichael, Chief Executive of Canterbury City Council.
Colin Carmichael first congratulated China on its success of the Beijing Olympic Games. He said that the Olympic Games had provided the world with a grand and magnificent sports feast. It was well received and positively commented worldwide. Those who tried to politicize it were ignored. The Games had hugely enhanced the reputation and attractiveness of Beijing and China in the world. There would be more people coming to China in the future. Colin Carmichael also said that the success of the Beijing Olympic Games offered experience for London.
Fu Ying said that the Olympic Games was a good chance for China to exchange and interact with the world. It was important to enhance mutual understanding. During the Games, 30,000 foreign journalists came to China. They traveled among the people and got to know a true China. Understanding of the Chinese people towards the world was becoming more mature. Nowadays 40 million Chinese people travel abroad each year, 100,000 students studying abroad and 120 million foreigners visits China. The Olympic Games would further promote exchange between China and the world. The process of China's reform and opening-up is irreversible.
Colin Carmichael introduced Canterbury that it was a historic and cultural city. There are Canterbury Cathedral, ancient wall and University of Kent. It borders sea. With the Beijing Olympic Games the city is keen on establish relations and cooperation with cities in China. It has no former relations with China at the moment. It wants to establish sister relations with medium and small cultural and historic cities in China and establish exchange and cooperation on Chinese language teaching, educational exchange, tourism, cultural performance. The city holds Canterbury Cultural Festival every October and looks forward to Chinese performance.
Fu Ying said that local exchange was indispensable in promoting mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples. China is active in developing cooperation with Britain in local areas, education and culture. Many Chinese provinces and cities have established friendly relations and close cooperation with foreign counterparts including those from Britain. China's western and central areas are also ready to have such exchange and cooperation. Since this year exchange between China and Britain has been dynamic. There were a number of Chinese troupes that came to Britain in recent months. They were a big hit. 90 teaching assistants sponsored by the Chinese Government and British Council will come to teach Chinese for a year in British schools soon. Apart from teaching they would also help train Chinese teachers. There is a bright future for local exchange between China and Britain. China welcomes Canterbury to establish relations with Chinese counterparts. The Chinese Embassy in London would like to provide assistance and facilitation within its means.