Theresa May delivers New Year message of friendship
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday sent her wishes through the government’s website and her own Weibo account to those who celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year worldwide, pledging to further strengthen China-UK relations.
May said the Year of the Rooster is set to be particularly important for the relationship between Britain and China, because the starting point for bilateral relations is stronger than ever before.
Recalling the historic state visit of President Xi Jinping in October 2015, she said the two countries are seeing an increasing development of their relations.
"We receive more Chinese investment than any other major European country. We’ve got around 150,000 Chinese students studying here and the number of Chinese tourists visiting has doubled in five years," May said.
In her message, May indicated that she hopes to make another visit to China, following her trip to the G20 Summit in Hangzhou last year, which was her first visit outside Europe as prime minister and herfirst meeting with President Xi Jinping.
Because this year marks the 20th anniversaryof Hong Kong’s return to China and the 45th anniversary of ambassadorial relations between the two countries, she hopes both Britain and China will further develop ties in all fields.
"I want us to take this chance to build on all the ties we share – in business, diplomacy, education, tourism and culture – as we forge a new role for Britain, as the most outward-looking, free-trading nation in the world," May said.
Because both the UK and China are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, she said the two countries are working together on the most pressing global issues.
The prime minister also acclaimed the British Chinese community for its enormous contribution to British society.
“The Rooster - the Fire Rooster - represents so many of the characteristics we need to employ in that endeavor: openness, confidence, hard work and leadership," May said, adding “indeed, they are characteristics demonstrated day in, day out by the British Chinese community”.
"As the lanterns are lit and the dumplings are served, let me wish you and your family, wherever you are, a very happy and healthy New Year,” she said, before concluding her message in Chinese: "Xin Nian Kuai Le (Happy New Year)"
British Prime Minister Theresa May sends her wishes through the government’s website and her own Weibo account to those who celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year on Tuesday.