President Xi Jinping Meets with Stephen Perry


On October 16th, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with an old friend of China, Stephen Perry, chairman of Britain's 48 Group Club at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. He spoke highly of the 'ice-breaking trip' made by Jack Perry, Stephen Perry's father in the early 1950s.

"When western countries were imposing trade blockade on China, your father led a group of far-sighted people from the British business community to visit China in spite of lots of obstacles in the early 1950s. The 'ice-breaking trip' was a remarkable move in those difficult times."

Chinese people will never forget the older generation who made significant historic contributions to UK-China economic and trade exchanges. Half a century has passed with great changes of the world since the "ice-breaking trip", but it is still believed to be of real relevance.

The UK-China friendship has been deeply rooted in the peoples of the two nations today, and it has become a consensus shared by the two governments and peoples to develop the "golden era" of bilateral ties. I'm very glad to see the spirit of the 'ice-breaking trip' is being carried forward from generation to generation. The new generation of "ice breakers" represented by 48 Group Club continues to devote all enthusiasm for UK-China friendship. I believe that with the joint efforts of all of us, the UK-China friendship will surely be passed on from generation to generation.

Xi Jinping pointed out that the Chinese people are making unremitting efforts to pursue the "two centenary goals". China has a splendid civilization of 5,000 years, while two to three hundred years of closed-door policy in China's modern history once caused it to fall behind. Drawing lessons from history, China has begun its reform and opening up. This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up, Xi said, adding that great achievements have been made in China's economic and social development over the past four decades. Under the current world circumstances, China is even more determined to support trade liberalization and economic globalization. "We advocate for enhancing exchanges, cooperation, understanding and mutual trust in international affairs while avoiding suspicion, prejudice and misunderstanding," Xi said. "It has strengthened our determination to persist in reform and opening up but China has no intention to seek hegemony," Xi noted. He said that China advocates building a community of shared future for mankind, developing friendly relations among countries and promoting a "golden era" for China-UK ties.

Perry hailed China's remarkable achievements in development over the past four decades, recalling that the country was still very poor and backward during the ice breaking period. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has drawn a grand blueprint for China's future development and achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is the grand project of this era, he added. "I am impressed by the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and have confidence that the country will achieve its goal." He emphasized that the 48 Group Club is committed to enhancing China's exchanges and communication with the outside world, and is willing to take an active part in China's development and rejuvenation. "We highly appreciate China's Belt and Road Initiative and the concept of a community of shared future for mankind," Perry said, adding that the 48 Group Club will support globalization, build an open world economy and promote cooperation between the two countries within the Belt and Road framework.

On April 28th, 2018, at the first UK-China High-level Talent Fair held in London, England, Mr. Perry was invited to attend and deliver a speech. He said that the new era of China's development has provided the UK with a huge opportunity for globalization. The UK will continue to be the leader in "understanding China" and "cooperating with China". "We always bear this in mind and it is also our responsibility," he said. "If the two countries intend to seize this opportunity, we should start by exchanging talents with each other and do a good job with sincerity."

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