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Consul General's Speech on 2018 National Day Reception of Chinese Communities

2018-10-09

Her Excellency Mrs. June Hitchen, Lord Mayor of Manchester,

Cllr. Jane Black, Mayor of Bury,

Cllr. Javid Iqbal, Mayor of Oldham,

Cllr. Ronnie Wilson, Mayor of Salford,

Cllr. Wendy Meikel, Deputy Mayor of Stockport,

H. E. Mr. Jorge Cruz, Consul General of Portugal in Manchester,

Mrs. Lisa Yam and leaders of Chinese Communities in Northern England,

My dear overseas compatriots, ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you very much for inviting me and my colleagues to attend tonight’s event. My appreciation also goes to Mrs. Hitchen, Councilors and my colleague at Manchester Consular Association for gracing this event with their attendance.

My fellow overseas compatriots, today marks the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Over half a century ago when the new China was founded, United States and almost all Western European Countries refused to recognize it. By that time a newspaper in Manchester called the Manchester Guardian carried an editorial appealing to the British government for recognizing the new China. Finally, following the wishes of the people, the British government officially declared that the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing China, thus making the United Kingdom the first major country in the western world to recognize the new China.

The year 2018 is the 40th year of China’s reform drive. We all know the chief architect of China’s reform and opening-up is Mr. Deng Xiaoping. But has it ever occurred to you how could Mr. Deng Xiaoping leave his land-locked home in a remote Sichuan village to study in France? One of the reasons is Chongqing being turned into a trading port. The Chinese Government at that time has agreed that Chongqing would be open for foreign trade provided it be visited by steamboat. In 1898, Mr. Archibald John Little, a native of Manchester, sold all his belongings for a steamboat and sailed it upstream from Shanghai to Chongqing and thus opened a gateway to Chongqing. Among the students leaving home with Mr. Deng Xiaoping, four of them were founding fathers of new China and one of them commander-in-chief of the People’s Liberation Army. Chongqing Municipal Government recently has erected statues in memory of 12 international friends who have made major contributions to its reform and opening-up. Guess who ranked the first? Mr. Archibald John Little from Manchester.

My dear overseas compatriots, China will be a totally different country without reform and opening-up and Manchester has made its own contribution in this process. We shall bear this part of history in mind and carry on our course with our forefather’s sprite of hardworking. As we all know very clearly, 100 years ago China as a country was improvised and weak, and Chinese people were insulted and humiliated. It is indeed a marvelous achievement of what we have done today and we shall all take great pride in this. However, China still is the biggest developing country in the world and we are at the initial stage of socialism. Now we are working all out to ensure that all the Chinese people will be lifted above the poverty line by 2020 and by 2050, which will mark the 100 anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, China will be a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious. Therefore, China has never and will never seek hegemony; instead, China will stick to the road of peaceful development. The Belt and Road Initiative is aimed at formulating the community of shared future with the concerted efforts of peoples of the world. By mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, we could make the cake of development bigger and bigger.

In the past weeks, Mr. Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester paid a visit to Beijing, Tianjin and Shenzhen. He wishes to bridge the development of his city with that of China. His main idea is to give full play to the role of urban in regional economic development therefore market could flourish as a result of urban development and will in turn boost the further growth of the city. It is our belief that the Northern Powerhouse Plan and the Belt and Road Initiative are indeed interrelated. The coupling of these two modes of development will instill strong impetus for both parties and provide enormous opportunities for the flourishing and development of local Chinese communities. I have always believed that the golden era of Sino-UK relations augurs well for the Chinese communities. I hope you will all rise and be ready for more friendly cooperation between China and UK.

Finally, let me express my most sincere wishes for the prosperity of our great motherland, for the fruitful future of the golden era of Sino-UK relations. May all our friends enjoy health and happiniess.

Thank you.

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