The Conservative Friends of the Chinese (CFOC) held its Summer Drinks Reception at No. 11 Downing Street yesterday on the evening of 3 July 2013. 11 Downing Street, also commonly known as Number 11, is the official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer who is responsible for all economic and financial matters relating to Britain.
In one of the firsts for the British Chinese community, the Chancellor, the Right Honourable George Osborne MP, welcomed over 120 distinguished guests ranging from the British Chinese community, British businesses linked to China and Chinese businesses in Britain into his official residence.
The Chancellor emphasised the importance of the Conservative Friends of the Chinese (CFOC) in building links between the British Chinese community and that of the Conservative Party of which they share very similar values in and how he wants it to be a great success. He brought up the importance in the role that the Conservative Friends of the Chinese (CFOC) play in building better understanding and relations between Britain and China which is a strong relationship based on mutual respect and understanding. The Chancellor also paid tribute to the important role those individuals such as Lord Wei who is the only active ethnic Parliamentarian of Chinese origin, and other organisations from the British Chinese community which facilitate trade, investment, educational and cultural links with China and places such as Hong Kong.
Also addressing the guests, Minister Cong Peiwu of the People’s Republic of China’s Embassy to Britain, Charge de affairs and present at the event to represent the Ambassador, also emphasised on the bilateral relationship based on mutual respect and understanding. Minister Cong also listed the recent high level Chinese investments into the Britain and how organisations like CFOC have a future role in encouraging or facilitating more such investments.
Chair Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, the Parliamentary Chair (together with Lord Wei of Shoreditch co-chairs of CFOC) talked about how Britain is very much open to business for China and Britain wants to encourage further investment for our Chinese friends and the Chinese community so that both British and Chinese businesses can share success across the world. He also mentioned that Britain and China have an incredible amount to offer each other, which is why the work of CFOC is so relevant.
He further mentioned that not only does Britain have business and investment to share, but also other areas such as tourism and education. The Chinese student population in the UK is the largest of any national group and he, as does Britain, very much welcome this. It is also fantastic that the British Council have launched a project to send more than 15,000 young Britons to China to either study or work as interns there.
Chair Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP also announced to the guests that the Conservative Party is also now setting up affiliated groups in Shanghai to cater for the large numbers of British expats now living in that region to compliment the current groups in Beijing and Hong Kong.
In another over-subscribed event by the Conservative Friends of the Chinese (CFOC) which is attended by senior members of the Conservative Party, including various prominent MPs and Members of the House of Lord, alongside senior representatives of various corporations, CFOC