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Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Attends 2020 Online Donation Ceremony of China-UK Charity Initiative

On 18 June, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming attended the online donation ceremony of China-UK Charity Initiative for a poverty alleviation project in Yunnan Province of China, where he delivered a speech entitled Love Leads Us forward Hand in Hand. Around 40 people joined the event online, including Qin Gang, Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alderman William Russell, Lord Mayor of the City of London, Fang Wenjian, Chairman of China Chamber of Commerce in the UK (CCCUK), Jin Hongjiang, Secretary of the CPC Jinping County Committee of Yunnan Province, Wu Huahao, Country Magistrate of Jinping of Yunnan Province, John Edwards, newly-appointed Her Majesty's Trade Commissioner to China, Peter Estlin, former Lord Mayor of the City of London, Vincent Keaveny, Lord Mayor-Designate of the City of London, and representatives from 13 cooperate partners of 2020 China-UK Charity Initiative, including Bank of China London Branch, China Construction Bank London Branch, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Ambassador Liu said in his speech that the donation by the China-UK Charity Initiative for building public health facilities in Jinping County bears three-fold significance. First, it is a valuable support for China's efforts to eliminate absolute poverty. For 28 years, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China has provided targeted assistance to Jinping and Malipo, two poorest counties in Yunnan Province. Not long ago, these two counties were officially taken off the poverty list. That was an important achievement. However, it remains a daunting task to consolidate this result. As President Xi Jinping said at the symposium on poverty reduction in March this year, "walking out of poverty is not an end in itself but the beginning of a new life and a pursuit for a new dream". The charity project of this time is aimed at improving medical care for local villagers and helping reduce poverty for the local community. This is a new way to cement the outcome of poverty reduction. And it helps foster an enabling environment for the local people to start a new life. "Going forward, China and the UK could explore new ways to reduce poverty, such as supporting industrial development, developing education and building better livelihood," said the Ambassador.

Second, this charity project is a new highlight in China-UK joint response to Covid-19. Since the outbreak, the two countries have supported each other and engaged in close cooperation. "This charity project we are marking today will provide medical and epidemic prevention services to more than 2,400 local villagers. It is a demonstration of the profound friendship between China and the UK. It is a showcase of our joint response to Covid-19. It is also a vivid illustration of our shared commitment to building a global community of health," Ambassador Liu added.

Third, this charity project provides new impetus for China-UK friendly cooperation. This health care project in Jinping County by the China-UK Charity Initiative demonstrates once again the sense of responsibility of the City of London and the Chinese and British business communities. It testifies to the determination and confidence of the two countries in deeper bilateral cooperation.

Vice Minister Qin Gang thanked CCCUK and the City of London for their donation to help build a medical clinic in Daluo Village, Jinping County, which would provide local villagers with medical care and epidemic prevention services close to home. Poverty reduction is a common challenge faced by mankind. In this respect, the Chinese Government has all along been committed to tackling the issue. Since 2012, an average of 13 million people has been lifted out of poverty on a yearly basis in China. Upon completing the mission of poverty eradication this year, China would be 10 years ahead of schedule in fulfilling the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was widely acknowledged by the international community and UN Secretary-General Guterres. Since 1992 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set out targeted assistance to Jinping County and Malipo County in Yunnan Province and with the help from all walks of life home and abroad, major outcomes have been achieved in lifting the two counties out of poverty. Moving forward, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue providing assistance and making joint efforts with the people of the two counties to consolidate the outcomes of poverty eradication, realize common prosperity and build a beautiful homeland.

Lord Mayor Russell said, as the world is under the impact of the pandemic, he was deeply impressed by the donation at this time. He thanked the doctors and medical workers who risked their own safety and made huge efforts to protect the public from Covid-19. He highlighted the importance of cooperation between nations, as well as national health agencies, businesses and academic institutions such as universities, especially in this difficult time during the pandemic. "Earlier this year, the UK-China Charity Initiative supported British health workers by procuring and donating large amounts of PPEs, reflecting the preciousness of the charity spirit and the deep friendship between the Chinese and British people," he noted. Charity organizations should carry on fighting COVID-19. China-UK Charity Initiative will support those severely affected by the pandemic to the best of its capability. "The poverty alleviation project in China is another example of effective cooperation between China and the UK," Russell said. The City of London is also ready to continue deepening the friendship with China and creating more benefits for the people of the two countries.

Chairman Fang noted the donation represented three continuities. The first is the continuity of hope. The Initiative aims at improving the living standard of people in remote areas in China and promoting regional development, which brings hope for rural vitalization and poverty reduction and eradication. The second is the continuity of love. The Initiative provides a platform for Chinese businesses in the UK to help those in need both in China and the UK. The third is the continuity of China-UK friendship. The people of China and the UK enjoy a deep friendship. The relationship of the two countries will move forward amid challenges and make new, bigger contribution to the common benefits of the people of both sides.

Secretary Jin expressed his sincere thanks to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese Embassy in the UK, the City of London and CCCUK. He noted that Jinping Country was lifted out of poverty this May, thanks to the long-term assistance and full support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the selfless donations from all walks of life home and abroad. He particularly mentioned the 879 projects with overseas funding over the past 28 years, which have made significant contribution to poverty eradication in Jinping County. He was convinced that Jinping County would transform the help into gratitude and motivation to move forward, make concrete efforts to win the final victory over poverty, go all out to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects and make Jinping county an excellent chapter in the story of China's poverty reduction .

A joint effort of CCCUK and the City of London, China-UK Charity Initiative was launched in 2018, aiming at setting up a bridge between Chinese and British charities, encouraging Chinese businesses in the UK to take part in charity and building responsible corporate images. The first project in China was funding the construction of a multimedia room for a school in poor rural village in Shaanxi Province, which was implemented in August 2019. The donation this time will go to the second project in China funded by the Initiative. Thirteen companies and organizations from both China and the UK have donated £27,000 to build a medical clinic in Daluo Village, Zhemi Town, Jinping County, Yunnan Province, which will provide medical and epidemic prevention services to more than 2,400 local villagers and improve the condition of medical service in the area. The clinic will be completed and opened in three months.

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