|Introducing China's Growth and China-UK Relations with Statistics|
I. Achievements made by the People's Republic of China
Chinese economic aggregate for 2015 accounted for 15.5 percent of world's total whereras it was merely 1.8% back in the year of 1978. China today has risen to being the second largest economy, the biggest trading country, country with the biggest foreign currency reserve, the biggest trading partner of over 120 countries and regions, the biggest project contractor, the second biggest FDI destination country, the third largest investing country, world's biggest inbound and outbound tourism market. Its per capita income has grown from less than 200 in 1978 to 8,000 US dollars.
Over the past five years, China has made tremendous achievements in growth and become a main growth engine behind world economic development, world trade and investment, patent application as well as the largest world tourist and overseas student source country. Talking of China's social and economic developments, I am to cite the following statistics: its annual growth rate 7.8%, annual output of undergraduates, domestic plus returning overseas graduates amount to approximately 40 million, nation-wide coverage of basic medical insurance, 80% of its population taking part in endowment insurance, average life expectancy improved to 76.2, energy consumption per unit of GDP drops by 18.2% with major pollutants emission decreasing by over 12%, total railway mileage reaches 120,000 kilometers among which 20,000 kilometers are high-speed railway, taking up 60% of world's total, expressway mileage exceeds 120,000 kilometers. In terms of advances made in science and technology: China's science & technology strength ranks itself among world leaders as it has built the biggest 4th generation mobile telecom network, its manned spacetrips, lunar exploration program and deep sea exploration all achieving high standards. China's Tianhe-2 supercomputer has just been rated No. 1 among world's most powerful computers for 5 straight years. In 2014, China's science & technology strength accounted for 23.49% of world's total, 1.22 times that of the USA. China's numbers of internet users and patent applications both exceed that of the USA. China has also improved greatly on its national defence as well as peacekeeping capability. Over the past five years, China has attracted USD 620 billion in FDI, making offshore non-financial investment of 683 billion. Foreign project contracts it has undertaken are worth 872 billion US dollars. Domestic tourists per year reach 4 billion and out-bound tourists 120 million. China's out-bound tourist number and off-shore consumption have topped world list for 3 straight years.
During the first half of this year, against the backdrop of the current complicated international situation and long-term accumulated domestic contradictions, China still managed a 6.7% growth rate, ahead of major global economies. With China's economy now exceeding 10 trillion US dollars, 1 percentage point equals several more of past growth. China's annual economic increment can be likened to a mid-level income economy. Its contribution to world economy stays at about 25%. With its economy growing steadily, domestic employment, average income and consumption grow along. New economy develops very well and new growth engines are gathering momentum.
On Oct.1st, we celebrated the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Around our National Day, we are thrilled to know our motherland has made many new achievements:
On Sep. 15th, Tiangong-2 spacelab successfully blasted off in Gansu province, marking China entering space station era.
On Sep.18th, the world's largest and the most tech-complicated ship lift was open for trial at the Three Gorges Dam in China. It can raise a maximum of 15,500 tons for a height of 113 metres.
On Sep. 22nd, world's biggest gene pool began operation in China.
On Sep. 25th, China announced to the world that its super sky eye--the 500-meter diameter spherical radio telescope achieved first light. With a single aperture the size of 30 football fields, it is the world's largest and most sensative radio telescope that could receive electromagnetic signals from 13.7 billion light years away, nearly to the edge of the known universe.
On the same day, Beijing-Xinjiang motorway desert passage was completed, marking the longest desert motorway with a length of 930 kilometres.
On Sep. 27th, at 55 kilometers in length, what the Guardian calls 'one of the seven wonders of the modern world'-- the world's longest sea-crossing bridge connecting the three biggest cities in the Pearl River Delta region is completed.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that its Special Drawing Rights Basket of currencies would for the first time include the renminbi (RMB) as of Oct 1, which makes up 11% of the basket's value, marking a milestone in the renminbi (RMB) global march.
On Oct.5th, Ethiopia and Djibouti launched Africa's first and longest modern electrified railway spanning 752.7 km connecting their respective capitals, which was built by Chinese companies.
During the recent 7-day China's National Day holiday, China's domestic tourism consumption exceeded 46.5 billion pounds. Domestic tourists amounted to 600 million and outbound tourists tallied close to 6 million spending 1000 pounds per person, creating new records. Encouraged by relaxed visa policies, UK leaped to the 5th destination country for Chinese outbound tourists during the holiday.
At 3:31 am Beijing time Oct. 19th, China's manned spacecraft Shenzhou-11 automatically docked with the space lab Tiangong-2. Two Chinese astronauts will live in the spacelab for 30 days before returning to the earth. To let two 8-ton big gadgets flying at 7.9 kilo per second connect with each other is like threading a needle in the universe, marking China's manned space program has entered a new stage.
II. Next, I would like to bring your attention to the contribution China has made to the world with its growth.
China's commodity trade volume has held the world's first place for 3 straight years. Its service trade volume comes the second largest. China's international trade volume of 2015 exceeded 2.9 trillion pounds, taking up 13% of world's total, contributing more than 30% to world trade growth. In the year 2015, China imported about 1.4 trillion pounds' worth of goods, directly creating 20 million jobs worldwide and producing indirectly 60 million jobs. With export valued at1.62 trillion pounds, it helped bring about the recovery of world economy.
China has lifted over 700 million people out of poverty, accounting for about 70 percent of those brought out of poverty worldwide. Being a developing country of 1.3 billion people, China is making its biggest contribution to world peace and development by managing its own affairs well. China manages to feed 20% world's population with world's 17%
arable land and will attain the goal of building a moderately prosperous society by 2020. As of the end of 2015, China had provided 50 billion pounds in aid to 166 countries and international or regional organizations. It had helped train 12 million people for developing countries and exempted 50 debt-ridden and poorest countries from 3.5 billion pounds' debt.
In the coming 5 years, China will import over 8 trillion pounds worth of goods and invest worldwide over 400 billion pounds. There will be over 500 million people going for overseas trips.
The 'One Belt and One Road' Initiative proposed by China has involved more than 100 countries and international organizations. The initiative is turning world's development opportunities to benefit China and sharing China's opportunities with the whole world.
III. Difficuties confronting China
With those said, I need to point out here that despite China being the 2nd largest economy, it remains the biggest developing country in the world with per capita GDP ranked below the 70th and being far from achieving modernization. It is still confronted with many problems and difficulties in future development. Severe smoggy weather still occurs in some areas. China is projected to reach the precipice of the middle-income trap in the next 5 years.
IV. China-UK relations and mutual cooperation
1. Political relations
Many first-times have been achieved in bilateral relations since the founding of the People's Republic of China:
UK is the first western country to recognize the New China and one of the first European countries to establish comprehensive strategic partnership with China. It is the biggest RMB offshore trading hub as well as the country that attracts largest number of Chinese students and opens most Confucius institutes in Europe. It is also the first Western country to issue a bond in China's currency as well as the first major Western country to become a founder member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to the UK last October, during which China and the UK were committed to building a global comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st century. This visit opened a golden era in China-UK relations featuring enduring, inclusive and win-win cooperation. During the G20 Summit on Sep. 5th, President Xi Jinping met with Prime Minister Theresa May. They both reiterated the will to constantly deepen political mutual trust and cooperation in various fields for the sake of more stable and better development of bilateral relations.
2. Mutual trade and business cooperation
The UK is China's second biggest trading partner,the biggest investment destination country as well as the biggest investment source country in Europe. China is UK's second biggest trading partner outside Europe. However, the total mutual trade volume of 63.4 billion pounds of 2015 is merely 7/50 that of Sino-US trade, half of Sino-Germany trade, 1/3 that of Sino-Korea and 1/4 that of Sino-Japan trade.
As of this April, UK has invested about 15 billion pounds in China while the Chinese investment in the UK totalled 11 billion pounds. Over 500 companies have set up businesses in the UK with a lot more to come. Five big Chinese SOEs have been listed on London Stock Exchange. Many Chinese companies became stockholders of famous British companies and invested in infrastructure projects here. In January 2014, Chinese Wanda Group announced an investment of 2-3 billion pounds in British city regeneration projects. After Brexit, Huawei reconfirmed its promise of investing 1.3 billion pounds and creating 500 jobs for the UK. The recently approved 18 billion Hinkley Point nuclear power station capable of powering six million homes and creating 25,000 jobs during construction and 900 permanent jobs once in operation was invested in 1/3 by China General Nuclear Corp.
3. People-to-people exchange
On Jan. 11th this year, China and UK began to issue reciprocally 2-year multiple entry visa to visitors from both countries.
Visitors from the Chinese mainland visiting the UK as first stop totalled 580,000 in 2015, while UK visitors to China amounted to 536,000.
The success of 'China-UK Cultural Exchange Year' last year brought mutual cultual exchanges to a new height, setting down a new norm.
In 2016, the two countries have been commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of famous British playwright Shakespeare and the Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu.
China and UK cooperate at governmental level in science and technology and established last October research and innovation partnership.
In 2015, British cultural season and Chinese cultural season were opened in respective countries.
There are 150,000 Chinese people studying in the UK and 7,000 Britons studying in China. The number of Confucius Institutes and Confucius classrooms in the UK ranks the 1st in Europe. Over 600 British primary and secondary schools set up Chinese language courses. There are 218 joint education projects between the two countries.
Sister county or city relations between the two countries amounted to 58. In March 2015, UK opened a new Consulate General in Wuhan and China opened thereafter a new Consulate General in Belfast in June.
4. Future vision on China-UK cooperation
According to a special report by the 'Global Consultant', China will play a vital role in the UK's future trade with its market prospects, dividend brought about by facilitated mutual trade, potentials in market cooperation, British outbound investment and complementarity of both economic structures.
IV.Our consular area's connectivity with China
1.On the economic front
To date, Chinese investment in Greater Manchester totalled 2.5 billion pounds.
Since 2013, BCEG has signed to undertake 3 projects including the airport city, Middlewood Locks and the St. Michael's project. Among them, the Airport City project is UK's biggest regeneration project since 2012 Olympic Games in London. BCEG provided 4 million starting fund for the Middlewood Locks project. Besides, BCEG is also following Manchester Airport upgrading project.
In Dec. 2015, Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials signed with National Graphene Institute on a Chinese funded research program that would revolutionize aircraft manufacture.
Chinese Sichuan Guodong Construction Group is to initially invest 220m over the next three years in Sheffield city regeneration projects.
NetDragon Websoft Inc., a leading developer and operator of online games and mobile internet platforms in China, completed the acquisition of a 100% stake in Promethean, a Blackburn-based world leader in interactive learning technologies market, for a total consideration of 84.8 million pounds, generating 671 new jobs.
In September 2015, China's Hualing Industry and Trade Group announced its plans to invest 120 million pounds in major projects in Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield. The three projects are expected to create 18,000 jobs and 10,000 new homes.
In December 2015, CMC and CITIC, one of China's largest financial groups, acquired a 13% stake for 400 million US dollars in Manchester City Football Group.
After China's Cathay Pacific opened direct flight from Hong Kong to Manchester in Dec. 2014, China's Hainan Airlines launched the second direct flight linking Manchester with Beijing, which brought a 50 million pounds worth of growth for Manchester and bridged China with the Northern Powerhouse. We are expecting a third direct flight from Manchester to Shanghai.
This July, Fosun Group took over Wolverhampton Wanderers for 45 million pounds.
2. On people to people exchanges.
There are 22 sister relations between counties and provinces or cities of both countries in our consular area.
Chinese students in our consular area take up 40% of UK's total and prospective Chinese students applying to local universities grew by 40% since our President's state visit last year to Manchester.
In October 2015 Beijing Bayi School, President Xi Jinping's old alma mater signed memorandum of understanding with Bolton Wanderers Football Club. The link could see British coaches travelling to China and Bayi students coming to train at the new free school at the Macron.
On Oct. 23rd, Linzi Football Museum of Shandong Province, the birthplace of football, announced a partnership with the National Football Museum in Manchester.
In the summer of 2016, Manchester City Football Club and Manchester United Football Club went to China to attend the International Championship Match.
China's LeTV sports channel signed deals with Manchester City Football Group on periodic training sessions for Chinese Youth Football Team.
China's Sina Sports established longterm partnership with Manchester United Football Club.
The 200,000 Chinese community in our consular area have made remarkable contribution to promoting bilateral realtions, supporting cultural exchanges and bringing about mutually beneficial economic cooperation in many sectors.
Manchester is the only city he visited outside London. As President Xi pointed out in his speech at the civic lunch here: two hundred years ago, Manchester, as the birthplace of industrial revolution, witnessed the great change to human society; two hundred years later, Manchester successfully transformed itself into a modern and vibrant city. He expected Manchester to actively take up the role of the front runner of China-UK relations as well as the navigator of mutual cooperation. Since his visit, more and more Chinese companies have started to focus their attention on the north of England, more and more Chinese provinces and cities are exploring cooperation possibilities with the northern region. The state visit has also greatly boosted local tourism. According to British Tourism Administration, 64,000 Chinese tourists came to the north last year, twice that of 2014 and they spent 83 million, up by 17%. We have every reason to see brighter prospects for future cooperation between China and Manchester and the north of England.
Ladies and gentlemen, China-UK are working together on multiple areas at all levels. According to both media, those statistics I have cited are being updated day by day as China keeps growing and our relations develop further. We expect both sides make joint efforts to push forward our relations and the mutual cooperation which shall benefit the two peoples in practical terms.