Her Excellency Fu Ying, Chinese Ambassador to the UK, attended and addressed the ceremony. Ambassador Fu began by congratulating the project for its successful initiation and gave a detailed illustration of the tremendous achievements China has made in its scientific and technological development. Fu said that sci-tech innovation capacity has been growing in the past 30 years with evident progress in basic research and hi-tech application. In particular, a large pool of major results of self-innovation was seen across different industries, such as manned spaceship, moon-landing, hyper-breed grain, higher performance computer, super-scale integrated circuit, nuclear power technology and power-efficient vehicles or vehicles fuelled by new energies. In 2006, the government issued the National Guideline on Medium-and Long-Term Program for Science and Technology Development (2006-2020), laying out a strategic plan for China's scientific and technological development in the next 15 years and setting the goal of achieving independent innovation with Chinese characteristics and building an innovation-oriented country.
Fu said that China's sci-tech development is in its best period in the modern history and is facing many important development opportunities. Britain was the front runner of the first industrial revolution and opened a new chapter in the history of scientific development. People still see it as the No.2 science and research power strong in low-carbon technology, bioscience, new materials and automated control, and at the frontier of the hi-tech industry. Businesses in UK have their respective experiences in R&D, innovation and commercialization. It is hoped that the two countries can have stronger cooperation in such areas as the innovation of small and medium-sized business and major research to achieve complementary success.
Fu then briefed the audience on what China has achieved in IPR protection and expressed the hope that people from the science and business communities in the UK can know more about China. Ambassador Fu said that a wide and profound reform is under way in both countries. On certain global issues, such as climate change, clean energy and the financial crisis, the two countries enjoy growing strategic common grounds. While UK advocates that China's development offers an opportunity, China sees the UK as an important partner. Relations between the two countries are on a promising new start. In the globalized world, in particular, our future is closely linked. Therefore, "China Tomorrow", a project launched against this particular background, is of major significance.
Ian Pearson, the UK Economic and Business Minister attended and addressed the ceremony. Among those invited to attend the launching ceremony were Chen Futao, Minister Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy to the UK and close to one hundred representatives from the science and business communities and governmental sector.