On Tuesday the British Chamber of Commerce in China had the privilege to interview Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom in a webinar, in which over 500 have joined to hear updates on the current and future of Sino-UK relations. Ambassador Liu highlights that the British Chamber plays an important role in promoting economic and trade relations between the two countries and presented an early congratulations to the British Chamber for its 40th Anniversary since it first established in China in 1981.
Q: How has the Chinese experience to combat COVID-19 been shared with the UK?
Ambassador Liu: Collaboration in this joint battle is multifold
China has been sharing learnings and experiences with the UK through high-level policy communications and close contact with cabinet secretaries; knowledge-sharing from medical experts who have been fighting the virus in China, as well as developing new vaccines between Chinese and British businesses and scientific research institutions.
As key players in the global political arena, both leaders have shown immense willingness to work through multilateralism to building a community for a shared future, especially through the UN, WHO and G20.
Q: How is the Chinese Government supporting businesses in China?
Ambassador Liu: Challenges are short term and temporary
Ambassador Liu fully acknowledges the negative impact that businesses are faced in China, but these challenges are nonetheless “short term and temporary”. The fundamentally strong Chinese economy means that it will recover soon. To fight against the battle of resuming business operations,
Liu highlights the six stimulus policies that have been put in place to support businesses, which include a shortened negative list and greater tax-free benefits and loan support. Liu adds that these measures are applicable to both domestic and foreign businesses, as “businesses are all treated as equal in China”.
Q: Can you give us an update on the two recent phone conversations between President Xi and Prime Minster Johnson?
Ambassador Liu: “I feel very heartened and encouraged to see that the top leaders of both countries maintain very active and intense communications”
Q: What is your perspective on the Belt and Road Initiative and how has COVID-19 impacted BRI plans?
“When Chinese people talk about Wei-Ji (危机/ crisis)…, we are thinking about how to turn these crises into opportunities”. Liu emphasises that the UK remains a “natural partner” in the bilateral relationship, especially on Belt and Road Initiative and Climate Change – where China and UK can match their strengths and potentials.
Ambassador Liu expresses appreciation to British Chamber members in supporting the COVID-19 relief effort in his final remarks.
“I always believe there is a great future for our relationship, British businesses have the entrepreneurship… that they are always optimistic about the future, and this is the strength and the cultural DNA of the UK that are shared in China.”