The Chinese Ambassador to the UK has been awarded an honorary doctorate of law by Nottingham University.
Speaking at a ceremony at the university the Ambassador said that he was deeply moved by this degree being conferred on him. He said that he took the degree as not only an honour for himself but also the recognition of the work of the Chinese Embassy in the UK.
Ambassador Liu was once youngest Ambassador in Egypt and he has now become the longest serving Chinese Ambassador to Britain. He said in his speech that “never before has China-UK relationship been so strong and so close as it is now”.
In 2010, he made his first visit to Nottingham City and to the University of Nottingham. Accompanied by the Vice-Chancellor, he visited the Confucius Institute and met with key staff members. In the Sir Colin Campbell Building, he later gave a speech to formal audience of the University on China’s Role in Global Economic Growth. In addition, he emphasised the role of language and culture in fostering mutual understanding and friendship. This partnership has flourished in the years that followed.
While visiting Nottingham this week His Excellency took the opportunity to visit the Dinosaurs of China exhibition, which we have reported on previously, hosted at Nottingham Lakeside Arts and Wollaton Hall.
The exhibition, made possible through the connections of Dr Wang Xi and a partnership between Nottingham City Council and the University of Nottingham, features fossils and specimens never seen outside of Asia and brings to life the story of how dinosaurs evolved into the birds that live alongside us today.
Professor Kevin Lee, Head of the School of Economics, gave the oration and cited Liu Xiaoming as one of the world’s greatest diplomats.
He said: ”Vice-Chancellor, we have with us today one of our world’s great diplomats, a leader who has done so much to create harmony in Sino – UK relationships, and in the process supported our University in its endeavours to contribute to education in China; to you and to the whole congregation I present His Excellency LIU Xiaoming as eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.”
The Ambassador's address included the high points of China-UK cooperation:
Bilateral trade grew from 50.8 billion US dollars to 74.4 billion.
And investment from China to Britain expanded 13 times from 1.3 billion to 18 billion US dollars. This is much more than Chinese investment in any other European country.
He went on to say progress is also being made in China-UK financial cooperation:
All major Chinese banks have come to London one after another, setting up branches or subsidiaries.
The Chinese and British Governments respectively issued their first RMB sovereign bond in London.
And London is now the largest RMB offshore market outside China.
Ambassador Liu said that China-UK cooperation on the Belt and Road is also deepening. Britain was the first major western country to apply to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the second only after China to contribute capital to the AIIB infrastructure project.