On 20 January the Chinese embassy in London, decorated with lanterns and lights, imbued with beautiful music, was full of people and festival delight though it was cold and chilling outside. Nearly 500 people including Overseas Chinese, students, employees of the Chinese enterprises and media and staff of the Chinese embassy and their families gathered together to welcome the coming of the traditional holiday of Spring Festival.
Guests watched pictures of achievements of China's 30-year reform and opening up and interesting TV programs, talked with each other. It was both warm and lively.
Ambassador Fu Ying first sent her New Year's greetings. She said that 2008 the Chinese nation withstood serious tests. The Beijing Olympic Games was a great success. Sichuan earthquake areas was rebuilding steadily. Shenzhou VII manned spaceship went into space smoothly. We owed all this to solid foundation of the 30-year reform and opening up.
Fu Ying said that 2009 would mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, and the 30th anniversary of reform and opening up. The year would be full of important celebrations. It would also have difficult moment. The impact of the world financial crisis on China's real economy deepened. It would be the most difficult year for China's economic development since the new century. The central conference on economic work took the sound and relatively fast economic development as priority of this year. The Government had taken proactive and sound measures to deal with the crisis. So long as we worked together, as diligent, practical and persistent as ox, we would be able to overcome difficulty.
Fu Ying said that President Hu Jintao delivered an important speech before the New Year's Day and proposed a series of concrete measures and policies on promoting peaceful development of cross-strait relations and national reunification by targeting new developments in cross-strait relations. Cross-strait relations were making positive progress. The three "direct links" that we had hoped for 60 years were basically realized. We would not forget the overseas Chinese, especially those living in UK, who for years had worked for the peaceful reunification of the motherland. We sincerely hoped that they would continue to support the cause in the future.
Fu Ying said that 2009 China-UK relations were faced with new opportunity for development. Premier Wen's upcoming official visit to the UK would inject new vigor into closer relations between the two countries. It would not only benefit the two peoples but also create better conditions for overseas Chinese and Chinese enterprises in UK.
People who attended the reception praised the great achievements of reform and opening up in the past 30 years. They said that prosperity of the motherland provided solid foundation for survival and development of overseas Chinese and that steady development of China-UK relations came with improvement of their own status. Though China was affected by the world financial crisis, they believed that its future would be brighter under the leadership of the Chinese Government. They lived abroad but were linked with the motherland. They would like to make positive contribution to modernization and reunification of the motherland and closer relations between China and UK.