|Fu Ying: China Is a Country of Multiplicity|
The Conservative Party decided to set up a China group within the Parliament and hosted a reception at the Westminster Houses of Parliament on November 3. Ambassador Fu Ying and William Hague, Honorary Chairman of the Group and Shadow Foreign Secretary, attended and addressed the reception. Among the attendants were Vice Chairman of the group and Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons Vara, Vice Chairman of the Party Spring and around 70 people including the conservative members of the Parliaments, Party members of Chinese origin and representatives from the Chinese businesses in Britain. The reception was chaired by the Group chairman and Shadow Minister for Charities, Social Enterprise and Volunteering Hurd.
Fu Ying congratulated the Party on the founding of the China Group and expressed her appreciation. She said, the world has entered into an era of transformation unseen in the past few decades. The past year is most likely to be written into the annals of the Chinese nation due to the increasing international status of the country. What kind of world power will China become? This is a question of which we are all searching for an answer. We need to be aware that the particularity of a rising China lies in its multiplicity. It is true that China is a power at the world level in terms of the size of its GDP, the level of its contribution to the world economy, the abundance of its foreign exchange reserve, its presence as the standing member of the UN Security Council and the incomparable frequency of its participation in the UN peacekeeping mission. However, it is still a developing country in respect of its GDP per capita, poverty in the western region, huge urban-rural divide and the less-than-50% urbanization rate. In addition, reform is yet to be accomplished and the journey to power and prosperity remains long and winding. China is still a big socialist country and will persist with the political system that fits its national conditions.
Fu Ying said, if becoming a world power, China will be a power unseen in history. The power of China comes not from military expansion but the hard work of tens of millions of the Chinese people. China will continue to grow through economic development and trade expansion. Therefore, to maintain peace, promote cooperation and settle international disputes through dialogue will be the consistent priority of China’s foreign policy.
Fu Ying said, the understanding of China needs to be based on its multiplicity. Increasing understanding is the best means of developing bilateral relationship. The Conservative Party had contributed greatly to the growth of bilateral relationship back in history. She said, she hopes that the China Group can play a more active part in promoting bilateral friendship and cooperation of mutual benefits. The future will not be smooth sailing. However, as long as the two countries are ready to understand and respect each other, no difficulties are unsurmountable.
Hague said, the formation of the China Group was highly symbolic and came at a right time when China had just celebrated its 60th anniversary and the Conservative Party is most likely to win the election and take office in six months. The Party leader Cameron and himself are both committed to promoting the development of Britain-China relationship, support the decision of launching the China Group within the Parliament and send their congratulations.
Hague said, Britain-China relationship is among Britain’s most important and strategic foreign relationships. It is significant to peace, stability and security of the world. Britain needs to look at China from a comprehensive perspective. The future Conservative government will build on the current momentum of bilateral relationship, upgrade relations with China on all fronts and in particular, expand cooperation on trade, education, culture and parliamentary affairs as well as global issues such as nuclear non-proliferation and climate change. The two countries do not see eye to eye on all issues. Neither can other partners. What counts more is for the two parties to have an in-depth view of each other, treat each other equally, put in place a constructive and sustainable dialogue mechanism and keep differences from obstructing bilateral relationship. The Party is preparing for its next administration and sees the need to increase its input in Britain-China relationship. Hague expressed his hope to visit China later this month for a more complete picture of the country.
Hurd said, his visit to China last year and attendance at the UK-China Forum of Young Politicians have left him with a strong feeling of the absence of mutual understanding between the two countries. That was how he came up with the idea of setting up a parliamentary China Group within the conservative party with the view to expand interaction and enhance understanding. His proposal was actively echoed by many conservative MPs. China is rising fast to become a world power and is increasingly important to UK. The two countries also need greater understanding and communication. This is where the China Group is ready to play its role.
The reception was financed by Huawei UK.
Honorary Vice Chairmen of the China Group are former Deputy PM Lord Geoffrey Howe, former Foreign Secretaries Lord Hodson and Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Around 100 conservative MPs have applied for its membership.