Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond on China and the UK

China and the UK – committed partners to open trade and free markets
An article by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond that originally appeared on the Beijing media outlet Caixin on 27 June 2018.

This week is my fifth visit to China in the two years I have been Chancellor, a clear sign of the strength of our economic partnership and the importance of the relationship between our two countries. I am here to meet political leaders with the clear message that the UK is a committed and reliable partner and a proponent of open trade and free markets.

“Global Britain” is not just a strategy for Britain’s economic future. It is a statement about what kind of people we are – and about the economy and the society we are seeking to build. The UK is committed to free and open trade, as we chart a new relationship with our European partners and also deepen our relationship with the rest of the world.

Our partnership with China is already deep and strong, and I want us to keep it growing. Financial services cooperation, in particular, has huge scope to develop and thrive. It is already at the very heart of our annual Economic and Financial Dialogues. The UK is a champion of RMB internationalisation and London is the largest offshore RMB centre after Hong Kong. I want to deepen that relationship as China continues to open up, to encourage greater two-way trade and investment and cement the UK’s position as the world’s premier financial centre. Last week I announced a new Global Financial Partnerships Strategy to bring together governments, regulators, and industry to build an enhanced framework for cross-border financial services. This will facilitate access to markets, increase trade, reduce frictions and position the UK as the gateway of choice for global finance.

Financial services is a highly innovative industry, always finding new ways to serve its customers. Fintech – the future of global finance – is another area where I want to deepen our collaboration. The UK is recognised as the best place in the world to set up and grow a fintech business, and in China over 700 million people use fintech every day for payments and investment. This is why we have a Fintech Bridge between our countries, to bring our governments, regulators and entrepreneurs together. The UK and China are also key partners in green finance, together leading global discussions in the G20 and driving global standards on green bonds. There is already clear momentum: just last week both ICBC and Bank of China issued green bonds in London. It is my ambition that the UK leads the world in financing green investment, which is why I announced the establishment of a new Green Finance Institute in London. It will mean that firms from across the world can access our one-stop-shop for both world-leading climate science and financial services. This Institute will house our joint work with China, giving it the dedicated resource and expertise needed to take the relationship to the next level.

I also want the UK to seize the great opportunities to lead in the financing of the Belt and Road initiative. The unique combination of financial capacity and legal and professional skills in London makes the UK ideally placed to help create a globally-recognised asset class of Belt and Road initiative projects. That is why I appointed Sir Douglas Flint, the former Chairman of HSBC, to be my Belt and Road Envoy and invited him to join my visit here to China this week. I also want to deepen our collaboration in new and innovative financial services.

I look forward to welcoming Vice Premier Hu Chunhua to London later this year for the tenth Economic and Financial Dialogue between our two counties. This an important anniversary in our relationship, held against the backdrop of another important anniversary, the fortieth year since reform and opening up – a fitting backdrop for a meeting between partners committed to free and open markets.

Find original here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/china-and-the-uk-committed-partners-to-open-trade-and-free-markets

Our VC says: Music expected to play bigger role in linking China, U.K

Xinhua News reported:

Chinese firms have shown increasing awareness of music intellectual property (IP) protection, and there is a lot of room for cooperation between China and Britain in music, said Lord Tim Clement-Jones, Vice-Chairman of the U.K. All Party Parliamentary China Group.

“We see Chinese digital music platforms operated by firms like Baidu, Tencent and Sina Weibo have taken many measures to counter piracy of music and ensure music artists are paid for their work,” said Lord Clement-Jones, who headed a group of British musicians and representatives from music industries to visit Beijing last week.

Lord Clement-Jones observed that IP is getting attention from the highest levels of the Chinese government, and the music industry is developing rapidly in China with the rise of music-streaming platforms, live music performances and music TV shows.

However, China still lacks the performance and broadcast rights that, if given, will significantly contribute to greater investment in the development of the Chinese music market by helping improve musical artists’ pay, he pointed out.

A four-day China-UK Pop Music Festival held by the Anglo-Sino Cultural Exchange Association ended Sunday. The event aimed to promote the role of music as a bridge linking the two countries to echo the development of the Belt and Road Initiative.

“The Belt and Road Initiative, to me, is a metaphor for communication between the East and the West. It is not only about roads, bridges or ports, but also music, culture and whatever combines us,” he said.

The British Council has organized a series of activities between the two countries, including exchanges of musical artists as well as initiatives to enhance music IP protection, he said.

“Music has a big role to play in the Belt and Road Initiative, and informal contact is very important to this end,” he added.

This article is originally published on Xinhua news and can be found here.

Invitation: Cultural Industries in Shanghai Symposium + Book Launch (June 29, London)

Cultural Industries in Shanghai: 

UK-China Dialogue on Future Academic and Industrial Collaboration in the Creative Industries + Book Launch

Cultural Industries in Shanghai: Policy and Planning inside a Global City (2018) will be published by Intellect this June. Edited by Professor Rong Yueming (Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences) and Professor Justin O’Connor (Monash University), under the Intellect China Library Series, this is the first publication of its kind in the English language. It takes an insightful look into policy and planning of a city’s cultural development with specific case studies and its part in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. We are taking this rare opportunity to facilitate conversations around the topic of future UK-China collaboration in the creative industries and have invited experts from the UK as well as editor Rong to join us for a lively discussion.

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The Six Monthly Report on Hong Kong: 1 July to 31 December 2017

Deposited in Parliament by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 15 March 2018. Download the full report here.

FOREWORD

This is the 42nd in a series of reports to Parliament on the implementation of the 1984 Sino–British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong. It covers the period from 1 July to 31 December 2017.

On 1 July 2017, Hong Kong marked 20 years since the handover, and, as I said in my statement to Parliament at the time, the UK joined Hong Kong in celebrating the success of the SAR, and its continued prosperity and vitality. The new Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, was also inaugurated as the fourth Chief Executive and first female leader of Hong Kong on 1 July. We were pleased to welcome her to London in September 2017, where a landmark UK–Hong Kong Fintech Bridge agreement was signed. The launch of a new Strategic Dialogue on Trade Partnership between the UK and Hong Kong further reinforced our cooperation as champions of free trade as the UK prepares to leave the EU.

Lord Mayor travels to China to boost economic cooperation and trade   – City of London Update       

Lord Mayor of the City of London, Charles Bowman, is visiting China from 19 to 28 March 2018 to promote trade and investment, and London’s role in the Belt and Road initiative.

The Lord Mayor, in his role as an ambassador for the UK’s financial and professional services and head of the City of London Corporation, will meet senior members of the Chinese government and business leaders during his visit. The nine day visit, accompanied by senior City figures from sectors such as banking, insurance, accountancy and legal, will include Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing.

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China and the UK should be partners in the AI revolution

Fascinating article on the opportunities for the UK and China to cooperate on Artificial Intelligence:

A TECHNOLOGY revolution is sweeping the world, and countries that most effectively seize the opportunities it creates will undoubtedly dominate the 21st century. As the race the harness artificial intelligence heats up, it’s vitally important that the UK drives the agenda alongside the US and China.

With world-class research institutions, a creative entrepreneurial culture, and some of the hottest AI companies in the world producing breakthroughs of global significance, the UK is well-positioned to continue to play a leading role on the world savage. According to a recent UK Government report, it’s the £630 billion question. As such, during my visit to some of the UK’s top universities this week, I have two clear aims. First, as a technology investor I hope the trip will help me unearth the most talented AI entrepreneurs and ideas. Second, as a long-time tech executive who has spent 35 years thinking about AI at firms such as Apple, Microsoft and Google, I’ll be calling for much closer alignment between the UK’s AI ecosystem and the massive opportunity China presents as a market.

When the UK’s top AI company, Deepmind, beat the world champion at the ancient board game Go using its AlphaGo programme in 2016 – a decade sooner than expected – for people in China this represented much more than just a milestone of computer science. As hundreds of millions tuned in to watch AlphaGo matches live, something far more profound was taking place. In ancient China, Go represented a sacred game. It was one of the four art forms to be mastered by any Chinese scholar. To be a master at Go, was to be both smart and noble. A master in life.

As a result, the crushing defeat at the hands of a “machine” was as significant a cultural awakening for China as I can remember. The ensuring AI frenzy that has unfolded in recent years has been remarkable.

The snowballing combination of Chinese investors, entrepreneurs and politicians will give China a big advantage as it ramps up AI investment, research and innovation. The Chinese government wants the country to be the centre of global innovation in AI by 2030.

If the UK is to keep its position as leading research hub for AI it will need increasingly to build bridge with counterparts in China. The number of China’s hyper-engaged users and vast oceans of data mean the market is ripe to harness the cutting-edge research happening in the UK.

Combining the UK’s advantages in academia, scientific rigour and innovation with China’s huge market will generate untold economic and societal advances on both sides. The challenge for the UK will be to look east and find the courage to collaborate.

 

New deal boosts the number of flights allowed between the UK and China by 50%

On 10 December, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling unveiled a landmark agreement for a 50% boost in the number of flights allowed between the UK and China. This new deal allows for a huge expansion in routes from regional airports – potentially boosting local economies by hundreds of millions of pounds by opening up new business and tourism opportunities.

Richard Graham MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary China Group, issued the followed statement:

“For some time the number of flights between China and the UK haven’t reflected the huge increase in Chinese students studying here, or trade and investment both ways, let alone the growing numbers of tourists.

“So the 50% increase in the numbers of flights – and not just to London either – will make a difference to access, people-to-people relations and overall growth. Direct flights have already started to Qingdao, home of China’s oldest and best known beer, and there are many more destinations that can now be reached without transit in Beijing or Hong Kong, the leading gateways.

It’s all part of a growing relationship, and this is only the start.”

For more information on the deal, please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/britain-open-for-business-as-uk-and-china-further-relax-limits-on-flights

Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming to Parliamentarians, co-hosted with GBCC

It is a great delight to be back at the House of Commons for this GBCC event to talk about the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

For the past weeks I have been busy sharing information with my British friends about this epoch-making Congress. I published articles on newspapers and delivered a few speeches. And I was on ITV’s “Peston on Sunday”. I want to get more people to know why this Congress is significant to both China and the world. I hope to elaborate on China’s new thinking, new blueprint and new measures for further development.

I was honoured to have attended the Congress in Beijing in person. And I feel equally honoured to be here today to share my thoughts and observations with the British Peers and Members of Parliament.

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China eases foreign investment restrictions – City of London Update

Last week, China announced plans to ease foreign investment restrictions in its financial markets.

  • Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao told a press conference on Friday that foreign businesses will be allowed to own up to 51% of shares in joint ventures in securities, funds or futures. The cap will be phased out over three years.
  • Restrictions on investment in Chinese banks and financial asset management companies will also be removed. After three years, foreign investors will be allowed to own up to 51% of shares in joint ventures in life insurance, with the cap removed in five years.

The news was announced during a meeting of Chinese and U.S. state leaders, but the Chinese Finance Ministry has confirmed it applies to all countries.

The Asia Programme Team at the City of London welcomes this news, and hopes it will lead to stronger ties in Financial and Professional Services between the UK and China. This represents an opportunity not only for firms in market, but also those currently considering making an entry.

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