I would like to send my warmest wishes to everyone celebrating the Chinese New Year.
As cities across our country light up with fireworks to usher in the Year of the Sheep, this is a nice moment to reflect upon the Chinese community in the UK.
Everyday I see our community punching above our weight and being increasingly recognised as a key part in the British fabric of life.
The community adds richness to all our great communities, and also provides a bridge to the Far East – through our shared history and our envied university education system. This creates economic opportunities and investment, driving jobs and innovation in an increasingly small world.
I see with great joy the new generation of Chinese Diaspora becoming leaders of business, of charity and of the community – a sense of ambition unique in our time. The Chinese community is helping drive our economy, playing a huge part in making Britain the fastest growing country in the G7, as part of our long term economic plan.
And in politics, our voice is getting louder. An increasingly large group of parliamentary candidates from major political parties shatters a glass ceiling long held for years. Never have we had this level of political engagement and long may that grow and strengthen.
We do not just celebrate Chinese New Year through fireworks, but also together with our friends and families. We demonstrate our fondness of close kinship, loyalty, hard work – the essence of both British and Chinese values.
So we look into the New Year with optimism, and it represents a timely reminder of how Britain’s strength comes from the richness of our cultures and the diversity of our great country.
I wish you all the very finest success in the year of the Sheep.
Xin nian kuai le.
The Rt. Hon. Lord Wei of Shoreditch