On 26 January, first day of the Chinese New Year, Ambassador Fu Ying and her family attended the Spring Festival reception held by the All-Party Parliamentary China Group. Over 200 guests including its Chairman Chapman and Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Bill Rammell attended the reception.
Fu Ying first wished the guests a happy New Year. She said that ox means many beautiful things for the Chinese. It represented hard work, perseverance and patience. It was what we needed most at the moment. She hoped that the world this year would be as stable as ox, people as hard working as ox and economy once again entering into bull market.
Fu Ying thanked Chairman Chapman, members of the APPCG and all the friends for their efforts in promoting mutual understanding and cooperation between people of the two countries and their precious support for her and the Chinese embassy.
Fu Ying said that the Chinese New Year was not only a festival for the Chinese. It also brought wishes from around the world. PM Brown's New Year greetings were the first of a foreign leader broadcast by Chinese TV. This, to some extent, showed closeness of relations between China and UK.
Fu Ying said when commenting the China strategy issued by the FCO that it was aimed at stressing the importance of China and substance of China-UK relations. It would help to strengthen popular basis for bilateral relations. The Chinese side would like to express its appreciation. Of course this was not to say that there was no difference between China and UK. Difference remained even within family members. So long as the two sides respected each other and accommodated each other's core concerns, difference could be overcome.
Fu Ying said Premier Wen Jiabao was due to visit UK. It was a confidence visit. He would meet with PM Brown and all sides of the British society. They would look back at and forward to cooperation between China and UK in all fields, explore ways to regain confidence through concerted actions and promote economies of China, UK and the world out of trough. His visit would promote cooperation between the two countries in all fields.
Bill Rammell wished everybody a happy New Year by pronouncing "Gong xi fa cai". He said China was a country that was important to the world and UK in particular. Chinese saw fast growth in the past decades. 3/4 of the world population that was lifted out of poverty came from China. China was a close trade partner of UK and other EU countries. The Chinese Government and people were integral part to solution of such major issues as climate change and non-proliferation, without whom these issues could not be solved.
Rammell said that the British side attached great importance to its relations with China. When introducing the China strategy issued by the British Government he said that it had three main objectives, i.e. benefiting from China's development, promoting as a stakeholder, cooperation with China at the UN Security Council in addressing common challenges, supporting China's domestic reform process and hold dialog with China in a friendly atmosphere.
Rammell said that UK and China still had difference on human rights, Tibet and death penalty but exchange of views on these questions should not affect strong development of bilateral relations. The British side attached great importance to exchange of high level visits and that it welcomed the upcoming visit to UK by Premier Wen Jiabao.
Chinese musicians played Guzheng during the reception. It was all smiles and festival mood.