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Joint Team from Shandong Province Arrives in the UK and Holds Video Conference with Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care

On 28 March, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming greeted the joint team from Shandong Province led by Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of Shandong Provincial People’s Congress Wang Hua at Heathrow Airport. They then joined Lord Bethell, UK’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care in a video conference at the Chinese Embassy.

Ambassador Liu said at the video conference that the Chinese government attaches importance to the health and safety of the overseas Chinese nationals. President Xi Jinping expressed his hope in a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the UK side would take effective measures to safeguard the health, safety and rights of Chinese nationals, especially students, in the UK. PM Johnson promised to do this to the best of the UK’s ability.

With 220,000 Chinese students currently studying in Britain, the UK has the biggest Chinese student community in Europe and the second largest in the world. As the disease continues to spread in the UK, the Chinese students have worries about their own health and safety. The recent incidents of discrimination or even attacks on Chinese nationals have prompted further concerns from China. The Chinese Embassy and Consulates in the UK are doing their utmost to provide consular protection and assistance. Ambassador Liu hoped that both China and the UK would make efforts to implement the consensus reached by the two leaders and safeguard the rights of the Chinese nationals.

Ambassador Liu said, at this critical moment when the epidemic is rapidly spreading in the UK, the Chinese government sent a joint team from Shandong Province to the UK to meet and provide care and assistance to the Chinese nationals especially the students. They have brought the greetings and support from the Chinese government as well as scientific guidelines on personal protection against the virus. Meanwhile, the joint team is ready to share experience of epidemic prevention, control, diagnosis and treatment with the British experts and donate a batch of much-needed medical supplies to the UK.

The ongoing battle against the Covid-19 pandemic is living proof that cooperation is the only way out. The concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind proposed by President Xi Jinping answers the question of how to safeguard the health and well-being of mankind and to realize the sustained stability and security in the world.

Vice Chairman Wang noted that the main purpose of the joint team coming to the UK is to extend cares to and support the Chinese students, the Chinese community and Chinese companies in the UK in doing a better job in epidemic prevention, and provide them with health supplies. He hoped that the British government would take practical and effective measures to safeguard the health, safety and rights of the Chinese nationals in the UK, especially the students.

China is grateful for the support and assistance offered by the international community, including the UK government. Virus respects no border, nor distinguish between races, he said. The epidemic is spreading rapidly around the world, including in the UK. The joint team stands ready to promote and strengthen friendship and cooperation between the peoples of China and the UK. The team has brought donations of medical supplies such as masks, ventilators and protection gears to the UK. There are also health and medical experts in the joint team ready to share their experience of epidemic prevention with the British side.

Lord Bethell said that it is an honor that a large group of Chinese students choose to study in the UK. Any behavior of discrimination or xenophobia is not tolerated in the British society. The British government is also aware of China’s concerns, and hence will make efforts to implement the agreement between the two leaders and protect the rights of the Chinese nationals in the UK, including the students, ensuring that they are treated as equals as the British citizens. As the Covid-19 outbreak is peaking in the UK currently, the UK is going all out to combat the epidemic. This is a global challenge that proves the importance to strengthen collaboration among all countries. The UK is grateful for the kindness expressed by China and the donations of medical supplies at this critical moment. China has plenty of experiences in battling the virus, and the UK is ready to exchange views with China in this regard, including testing, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Ambassador Liu also gave interviews to CGTN and Shandong Radio and Television after the conference.

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