On 22 January 2009, Ambassador Fu Ying attended the Chinese New Year dinner held by the 48 Group at Dorchester hotel. Over 500 people including those from the political, business, cultural sectors came. Fu Ying was given "Icebreaker Award" to commemorate her contribution in enhancing comprehensive and objective understanding of the British people towards China over the past year under the difficult circumstance of overwhelming negative media reports about China.
Fu Ying introduced the impact of the financial crisis on China and the measures that the Chinese Government took to over it. She said that some economists estimated that China's economy would recover in the third quarter of 2009. As the 3rd largest economy in the world, the recovery of China's economy would help stabilize the world economy. The biggest contribution by China was to do a good job within the country. Fu Ying also mentioned preparation of high level visits and consensus of both side on developing bilateral relations.
Fu Ying said that people talked about the good things of rat at the dinner marking the Year of Rat last year but its shortcoming of being naught was ignored. Bankers still could not recover from the difficult situation it brought about. Amid laughers Fu Ying said though ox was sometimes slow but it was hard working, persistent and practical. This was what we needed most at the time of difficulty. She wished everybody good luck in the New Year.
Ian Pearson, Economic Secretary of HM Treasury, said that UK remained largest investor in China of all EU countries. He hoped that both sides would continue to work hard to achieve the trade target set by leaders of the two countries during their last meeting. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling was due to have the second Economic and Financial Dialog with Vice Premier Wang Qishan in London. The two sides would discuss a wide range of topics. He hoped the dialog would generate results. The two sides should address challenges by close cooperation. When the crisis was a global one, only global cooperation would do. The summit of G20 would also be held in London. He hoped that all countries including UK and China would work together to stabilize the world economy and promote growth.
Guests expressed their appreciation to the 48 Group for its contribution for promoting trade and mutual understanding between China and UK.