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Consul General Pan's Speech at the Liverpool Celebrations of the Spring Festival
22 January 2012

(In the evening of the 22 January 2012, on the Eve of the Year of the Dragon, Liverpool held celebrations for the New Year. Consul General Pan Yundong was invited to give a speech. The following is the full text of the speech.)

Consul General Pan giving a speech

Dear Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Frank Prendergast,

Chairman of Liverpool China Business Association, Mr Simon Wong,

Leaders of the Chinese community, fellow Chinese, dear friends,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Happy New Year!

As an old Chinese motto says, whilst the auspicious rabbit sends off the old year, the prospitious dragon ushers in the new spring. Just in several hours, the Year of the Dragon will dawn. We are very pleased to be cheerfully with you all here welcoming the new spring. On behalf of the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China, I would like to take this opportunity to express my festival greetings and best wishes to our fellow Chinese and British friends.

The Spring Festival is the most ceremonious traditional festival for the Chinese nation. To share the eve of the New Year back at home is the traditional custom of the Chinese people. Today, my wife and I, together with our colleagues, come to Liverpool and share the eve of the New Year with all of you here, which I think bears special meaning. Liverpool is the earliest English home for the Chinese people. I am very glad that I enjoy my very first Spring Festival with all of you here in Liverpool of UK.

We see that, these days, different places in the UK are just like those in China, which are immersed in festival atmosphere. Originated in China, the Spring Festival is not a traditional festival merely for Chinese. With its rich meaning and special charisma, and with the efforts of the Chinese people around the world, the Spring Festival is crossing the boundary of China, connecting the world, and becoming a world festival that is enjoyed by people of different nationalities, including British. The Spring Festival has become a brand and symbol of Chinese culture. We hope that more and more British people may share the joy brought about by the Spring Festival, appreciate its culture, learn more and know more about China through it, and promote our friendship. Today, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Prendergast, together with other 4 mayors in this area, and so many British friends take part in the celebrations here. I share pay my special tribute to all of you. Thank you very much for your warmth and supports for the celebrations of the Chinese Spring Festival, for your attention and care for the local Chinese community, and for your assistance and help for the local Chinese people.

Members from Chinese associations performing Chinese folk dance

In retrospect to the Year of the Rabbit, weathering the negative impacts brought about by the international financial crisis, China's economy maintained stable and fast growth. The Twelfth-Five Year Plan had been started quite well, with the people's living standard greatly uplifted, the national power significantly enhanced, in which all Chinese around the world take pride. The China-UK relationship developed steadily, whilst high-level visits frequent, political and strategic mutual trust reinforced, friendly cooperations up-staged, and the bilateral relationship marching towards comprehensive strategic partnership. Looking forward to the Year of the Dragon, we are fully confident that, no matter what hardships and challenges ahead, we will do our job well. We will "seek progress in stability", harness the inflation, adjust the economic structure, ensure the livelihood standard, safeguard the social harmony, and promote the economic growth. We will exchange with other peoples and countries in the world in a more open and confident way. We will actively take part in international cooperations, and make new contributions to the development of the world. Dragon means luck and success. We sincerely hope that the China-UK relationship develops soundly and brings concrete and feasible benefits to our two peoples in the Year of the Dragon. We whole-heartedly wish that, under the good China-UK bilateral relationship, the Chinese people in the UK may be more and more prosperous, just like the old Chinese saying goes that, to jump over the Door of the Dragon in the Year of the Dragon.

Although I took my post in Manchester less than 3 months ago, this is my fourth visit to Liverpool. I am obliged to the City Council of Liverpool and friends here for your hospitality extended to us, and I am obliged to the Liverpool Chinese community for your generous support for our work. I fully understand that, the British people's friendliness to us is stemmed from their friendliness to China, and the local Chinese people's sincere support to us is rooted in their devotion to their motherland. In the new year, the Chinese Consulate General will make new contributions to push forward and deepen the cooperative exchanges between our consular area and China, and work incessantly in providing service to the Chinese people and supporting the Chinese associations in their development.

Consul General Pan and his Wife Consul Zhu Yu, Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Prendergast and Lady Mayoress, and other distinguished guests sending New Year greetings to the audience

Finally, at this prospitious and joyous moment of the turning of the year, I heartily wish prosperity for our two countries, peace and happiness for our two peoples, new development for the China-UK relationship, and wish you all career prosperity, good health, and family harmony.

Thank you.

Lord Mayor of Livepoor Cllr Prendergast sending New Year messages to the Chinese people

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