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40th Anniversary of Ambassadorial Relations Between China and the UK Marked

Time:2012-03-14Editor:Resource:PrintingSize:LargeMediumSmall

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The 40th anniversary of the establishment of ambassadorial relations between China and the UK fell on March 13. On the evening of March 20, people gathered in the brightly-lit Peace Palace of the CPAFFC at a reception to celebrate the occasion, which began with a performance of the Harrow Girls’ Choir from Harrow School in Beijing.

The UK recognized the People’s Republic of China on January 6, 1950, the first major Western country to do so. On June 17, 1954, the two countries exchanged diplomatic representatives. Finally, in 1972, they upgraded relations to the ambassadorial level.

Over the past four decades, China and the UK have seen steady development of their political relations. They have established a comprehensive strategic partnership and a range of structured dialogues including the annual Prime Ministers’ Meeting, and have maintained close communication and coordination on major world issues. They enjoy fast growth of trade and economic cooperation. In 2011, bilateral trade volume reached US$ 58.7 billion. The UK is China’s third largest trade partner within the EU; in the opposite direction, China ranks third after European Union and the United States. People-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two countries have deepened. Now, over one million Chinese and British nationals visit, study, work or live in each other’s country each year. Chinese students studying in the UK have reached 120,000.

With a theme of“40 Years Young”, the reception was co-sponsored by the CPAFFC and the British Embassy in China. Vice Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng was present. CPAFFC Vice President Li Jianping and British Ambassador to China James Sebastian Wood made speeches.

Specially invited were people engaged in youth exchange programs, as well as young people. Chinese scholars who had studied in the UK and university students majoring in English met British students studying in China at the reception. Together they celebrated this important day in bilateral relations and took advantage of the occasion to increase understanding, make friends and share experiences.

Among the 200 people at the reception were former Chinese ambassadors to Britain Ma Zhengang, Jiang Enzhu and Ma Yuzhen, representatives from the foreign, education and cultural ministries, the All-China Youth Federation, the General Administration of Sport of China, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the China Institute of International Studies, diplomats of the British Embassy, representatives from the China-Britain Business Council and other British organizations in China.

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