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Message of congratulations from Ambassador Liu Xiaoming to the fourth China-UK Regional Leaders' Summit

Chinese Embassy to UK | Updated: 2018-10-18 00:48

On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, I would like to extend warm congratulations on the fourth China-UK Regional Leaders' Summit convened auspiciously in the golden month of October. Let me welcome all of you to Dalian, the "pearl of Northern China".

Since the first gathering in 2016, China-UK regional leaders' meetings has grown into an effective platform and produced fruitful results. It has played an important role in advancing exchanges and cooperation between local authorities as well as bilateral relations between China and the UK.

Today, as its theme says, "Establishing a Global Vision, Creating a Golden Era", this Summit could not have been more timely.

The world is experiencing profound changes unseen in a century: deep adjustment in the international landscape, complex and volatile economic and trade situation, surging anti-globalisation, unilateralism and protectionism, and rising uncertainties in Brexit. But we must not let these severe challenges take our attention away from the opportunities for China-UK subnational cooperation.

The China-UK "Golden Era" has been shifted to a higher gear, promising wider, higher and deeper cooperation that benefits both sides. As socialism with Chinese characteristics enters a new era, China has accelerated and expanded its opening up. As Britain leaves the EU, it aims to build a "global Britain" and seeks to acclerate the building of a new global network of trade relations. On the Belt and Road Initiative, the UK sees itself as a "natural partner" of China, and China-UK cooperation on the BRI is thriving. All these are opportunities that will open up new prospects and give new impetus to local government cooperation between our two countries and take it to a new level.

I sincerely hope that local government leaders of our two countries will seize the opportunities and deal with the challenges. I hope, with a global perspective, with more proactive actions and with a greater sense of responsibility, you will advance China-UK subnational cooperation in the following four aspects.

First, maximise the Regional Leaders' Summit to dovetail the development strategies of our two countries and create new opportunities of growth.

China is seeking to balance domestic development between different regions. For the same purpose, the UK has proposed plans such as the "Northern Powerhouse" and the "Midlands Engine for Growth". This Summit, together with China-UK Joint Economic and Trade Commission, provides an excellent platform for the two sides to deepen understanding of each other's development strategies and dovetail relevant plans so as to create a better environment for business cooperation.

Second, tap the comparative strengths of China and the UK to explore new avenues of business cooperation.

The UK is an important R&D centre of high-tech and high value-added industries. China has strong manufacturing capability and a huge market. The two sides could dovetail these strengths in order to advance cooperation on energy, finance, innovation, automobile manufacturing and infrastructure development. You could tap the potential of cooperation in new industries and new business models such as artificial intelligence, green economy and sharing economy. You could also explore cooperation with a third party.

Third, initiate flagship projects to open up a new prospect of win-win cooperation.

There are already many effective channels of cooperation between our two sides, including the China Import and Export Fair and the Eco Forum Global Guiyang. In addition, Chinese provincial- or municipal-level delegations conduct dozens of trade promotion visits to the UK every year. And this year, high-level British delegations will participate in the Beijing International Horticultural Exposition and the first-ever China International Import Expo. Local authorities should pool your strengths to build some high-quality, high-level flagship projects with local features. This could be done through implementing of the China-UK Joint Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation at the subnational level and local government leaders have a pivotal role to play.

Fourth, let cultural and people-to-people exchanges give new impetus to China-UK friendship.

Cultural and people-to-people exchanges are most active at the subnational level and they deliver outcomes directly to the people. Going forward, local governments of both countries should deepen cooperation on creative industry, tourism, art festivals and protection of cultural heritages, and enhance institutional and regular cultural, tourism and education exchanges between the regions of our two countries.

The development of China-UK relations needs the support of the local governments and people of our two countries. It will continue to rely on subnational-level cooperation and deliver benefits to local communities.

The Chinese Embassy in the UK stands ready to serve as a bridge for such cooperation. We will continue to provide strong support and all-round services, and join hands with all of you to take China-UK subnational cooperation of the new era to a new level!

In conclusion, I wish the fourth China-UK Regional Leaders' Summit a great success!

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