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Home > News in Pictures
Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Holds Webinar with the British Chamber of Commerce in China
2020/03/25

On March 24th, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming had an online discussion with St. John Moore, Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in China, to exchange views on a wide range of issues including joint response to Covid-19 outbreak and Sino-British economic and trade cooperation. More than 430 representatives from British companies in China, Chinese businesses in the UK, third-party agencies and other stake holders from both countries attended the webinar.

Ambassador Liu said, under the direct leadership of President Xi Jinping and thanks to the massive efforts and solidarity of all Chinese people, China has achieved positive results in epidemic prevention and control, and economic and social activities are getting back to normal. At the moment, there are multiple outbreaks in the world and the situation in the UK is worrying. Epidemic respect no borders. COVID-19 is a common enemy of mankind. In face of the pandemic, solidarity and cooperation are the only way out and the only right choice. If we are to win this battle against the epidemic, countries of the world should uphold the spirit of building a community with shared future for mankind and work closely to help each other through this difficult moment.

Ambassador Liu pointed out that when China was in a critical time of fighting the Covid-19 outbreak, Her Majesty the Queen and Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed sympathy and support on behalf of the UK, and the British government and people from all walks of life in the UK provided China with assistance and donations, including donations in cash and the kind worth of more than RMB 100 million from the members of the British Chamber of Commerce in China. Now, as the UK wages its battle against the virus, China stands ready to work together with the UK, build global partnership and contribute to global public health.

The collaboration between China and the UK in this battle against the virus is multi-fold. Firstly, policy coordination at the top level is intensive. Secondly, the two countries have been sharing experiences with each other on epidemic prevention and control.

“I share the latest edition of the Diagnosis and Treatment Protocol and China’s experience of coping with the virus with the Cabinet Secretary. Chinese and British experts and doctors are also sharing experience. Just a few days ago, the Chinese side hosted a webinar with 18 European countries. British scientists, experts, specialists and doctors attended and asked lots of questions. I was told that about 80 questions were asked and the Chinese doctors were open and tried their very best to answer all these questions,” the Ambassador said.

Thirdly, the collaboration between the scientific institutions and specialists of the two countries on virus testing, vaccine and drugs research and development, and clinical diagnosis and treatment has been strengthened. Fourthly, our two countries have been at each other’s side at the most critical moments.

Ambassador Liu also mentioned the telephone conversation between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 23 March. This was the second phone call between the two leaders in a month’s time, which demonstrates the great importance that both countries attach to China-UK relations, and the firm determination and confidence of the two countries in working closely to beat the virus.

Ambassador Liu pointed out that China has adopted a series of measures to minimize the impact of the epidemic on foreign-invested enterprises in China. At the State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on 10 March, six new measures were rolled out in response to the impact of the epidemic and stabilize foreign trade and investment, which will strongly facilitate foreign-invested companies in China, including British companies, in getting their business back to normal and continue to grow. Ambassador Liu pointed out that the negative impact of the epidemic on the economy is short term and temporary. China’s economy has solid foundation and will remain strong and resilient. The central and regional governments have rolled out numerous supportive measures. The economic prospects are promising.

Ambassador Liu emphasized that the Chinese and British economies are highly complementary and enjoy great potential for cooperation. In terms of trade, China-UK trade volume in goods reached US$86.27 billion in 2019 with a year-on-year increase of 7.3%. In the past 10 years, the bilateral trade flow has doubled. In terms of investment, China has been accelerating its pace of opening up and optimizing its business environment continuously, securing its rank as the world’s second largest FDI recipient. Here, the UK has been the No.1 destination for Chinese investment in Europe for the past five years, with direct investment from China exceeding US$20 billion in 2019, and with numerous new projects taking roots and bearing fruits.

China welcomes British businesses and investments and fully supports and facilitates Chinese companies in investing in the UK. At the same time, the Ambassador expressed the hope that the British government would create a fair, just, open and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies such as Huawei, in order to encourage investment from China and achieve mutual benefits and win-win results for both sides. On the issue of the negotiation of China-UK Free Trade Agreement, China has made its timetable and roadmap, and will work together with the UK to take the next step, Said the Ambassador.

Ambassador Liu said that this year marks the fifth anniversary of the “Golden Era” of China-UK relations, which is an opportunity for both countries. In a recent telephone conversation, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Johnson confirmed the general direction of China-UK “Golden Era”. China and the UK have many common interests, but they also differ in many ways, but their common interests outweigh their differences. On the basis of enhancing mutual political trust, both sides should adhere to mutual respect and mutual benefit, and continue to deepen cooperation in the areas of investment, trade, science and technology, finance, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, the Belt and Road Initiative, climate change, environmental protection, and public health, so as to take China-UK “Golden Era” to the next level and achieve more “golden fruits”.

St. John Moore noted that China has achieved remarkable success in the fight against the Covid-19 outbreak by taking effective measures. He agreed that a close communication between the leaders of the two countries is of great importance for the development of UK-China relationship and that the UK and China should consolidate friendship and promote cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. The British Chamber of Commerce in China and its members who have witnessed the progress in China’s reform and opening up are committed to pushing forward the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries, and will play an active role in helping China fight the virus. He was convinced that the pandemic has not shaken and will not shake the confidence of the British Chamber of Commerce and British companies in the prospects of China’s economic development and their investment in China. UK-China cooperation has great potential and bright prospects. Stronger beneficial cooperation between the two will bring more tangible benefits to both.

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The British Chamber of Commerce in China, established in 1980, is a non-profit organization that provides services to British businesses in China. With branches operating in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu, the Chamber of Commerce has more than 850 members, both SMEs and FTSE 100 companies, in various industries, including financial service, professional service, manufacturing, education, creative industry, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

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