|Chinese Embassy and UK Conservative Party Jointly Host Commerce Reception|
On November 4, the Chinese embassy and the UK conservative party jointly hosted a commerce reception. Among the two hundred attendants were Ambassador Fu Ying, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, Shadow Minister for Trade and International Development Clifton-Brown, Shadow Minister for Treasury Sheila Noakes, Shadow Minister for Business John Penrose, Vice Chairman of the Party Richard Spring, Philip Dunne MP, Conservative Members of the Parliaments, Party members of Chinese origin, representatives of the Chinese businesses in Britain and diplomats from the Chinese embassy. The reception was chaired by Party Vice Chairman Richard Spring. Fu Ying and Osborne made remarks.
Fu Ying said, China and Britain are undergoing changes amidst the profound transformation that is going on across the world. The two countries should join hands to advance relations across the board, in particular to facilitate continuous growth of trade. She is confident that the reception will generate favorable opportunities where business communities of the two countries can develop closer ties and Chinese businesses and the Conservative Party can develop closer ties.
Fu Ying said, while affecting the world economy, the international financial crisis also has had a huge impact on China’s exports. As a response to the crisis, the Chinese government immediately launched a 4 trillion RMB stimulus package that is focused on expanding domestic demand and adjusting economic structure. At present, China is on the path of recovery. Its GDP grew by 8.9% in the third quarter of this year. Employment is turning for the better. However, as Premier Wen said, recovery is not yet steady and China still needs to adhere to its existing policy and work more closely with other countries to achieve an early recovery of the global economy.
Fu Ying said, closer trade and investment cooperation between China and Britain meets the interests of the two countries. The financial crisis has taken a big hit on bilateral trade, resulting in a sharp decline in the first eight months of this year and making it difficult to fulfill the US$ 60 billion target by 2010. In terms of investment, Britain is still the first investor to China among EU member states. By July 2009, it had had 6,000 investment projects in China. Although China’s external investment in 2008 doubled that of 2007, its investment in Britain grew much slower. She expressed her hope that the UK government can take more measures to bring in Chinese investors, such as fewer visa restrictions and better investment terms. As Britain is competitive in areas such as finance, design, hi-tech, manufacturing and clean energy, the two countries have strong complementarities and should therefore enhance cooperation.
Fu Ying said, it was during the administration of the Conservative Party that the two countries established diplomatic relationship and reached the agreement of Hong Kong’s return to China. China appreciates the priority that the Party has given to China and its commitments to advance relations with China. China is ready to work closely with the Party and upgrade bilateral relationship.
Osborne said, relationship with China has always been the priority of the Conservative Party. The Parliamentary China Group founded yesterday and the presence of so many Party members and businessmen at the reception both testified to the priority that the Party has placed on UK-China relationship. The Party is ready to further enhance bilateral relationship.
Osborne said, China is growing fast and has become the automotive of the world economic growth. The UK should enhance its economic cooperation with China. The Conservative Party should continue to encourage investment in China and keep the country’s status as the largest investor to China among EU members. It is also ready to help resolve difficulties that the Chinese businesses and visitors might encounter to facilitate China’s investment in UK and bilateral exchanges. The Party is also ready to enhance educational cooperation with China, including facilitating student exchange for better understanding between the youths of the two countries. With growing international influence, China is playing an increasingly important role in global affairs. With a new political and economic power structure, G20 has replaced G7 in governing world affairs. The Party hopes to see China as a major player on the world stage and is ready to enhance cooperation with it on counter-terrorism, nuclear non-proliferation, climate change and other global issues.
Heated discussions were held on bilateral trade and investment cooperation. Representatives from the business communities of the two countries expressed their appreciation for this event.