Earlier this week the Lord Mayor of the City of London visited Beijing, leading a delegation of individuals from prominent institutions and businesses in the UK. The purpose of the visit was to expand China-UK cooperation as well as celebrating the success of his recent collaboration with the CCCUK — the ‘UK-China Charity Initiative’. On the 21st March, there was a formal presentation of a donation cheque for the poverty alleviation project in China founded by the Initiative, which was held as part of a business reception named “Shaping Tomorrow’s City Today” at the British Embassy in Beijing.
Invitees to the reception included Alderman Peter Estlin, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Richard Burn, HM Trade Commissioner for China, Wu Lin, Secretary-general of the CCCUK, John McLean OBE, Head of China-UK Relations for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal and political and business leaders from both China and the UK. Those who attended the cheque donation ceremony included over 100 representatives from various organisations, including; the City of London delegation to China, the British Department for International Trade, China-Britain Business Council, Confederation of British Industries, the British Chamber of Commerce in China, the China Chamber of Commerce in the UK and from various institutions, businesses,government agencies and diplomatic services.
Following the launch of the ‘UK-China Charity Initiative’ by the CCCUK and the Lord Mayor’s Appeal (LMA) at the end of 2018, the two organisations hosted a large-scale fundraising event during the the Chinese Year of 2019 celebration. The theme of the event was ‘UK-China Charity Initiative’, supporting both the Chinese poverty alleviation projects in China and LMA’s charity projects in the UK. The Poverty Alleviation Project will support a poverty-stricken school in Shaanxi Province in building a multi-media room for training activities, such as academic reports, video conferences and cultural events to improve teaching qualities. After the completion of the project, the school plans to fully utilise the multi-media room for remote video teaching and exchanges with schools and art institutions in the City of London, helping poor students in the local area to expand their international knowledge and experience.
The Sino-British cooperation project, focusing on civic responsibility and public welfare, will advance several impactful changes to current relations between the UK and China.
Firstly, the project can be seen to be building new platforms for long-term charity cooperation between China and the UK. In fact, founders of the project are actively encouraging British and Chinese enterprises to contribute to local public welfare via this non-profit platform. At the same time, the initiative is taking targeted measures to alleviate poverty, supporting China-UK sustainable development projects, fulfilling social responsibilities within local communities and making efforts to create a better business environment.
Secondly, the project has opened up new areas of Sino-British economic and trade cooperation. By focussing on public welfare, the project is guiding more organisations to contribute to charity, expanding economic and trade cooperation into charitable areas and simultaneously cultivating new common grounds.
Finally, it is worth noting the significance of this project as it introduces the concept of charitable giving to Chinese companies. Whilst the notion of giving charitably is deeply rooted in British history, this is a new chapter of development as China’s economy continues to expand. In 1601, the world’s first charitable act was enacted in England. After more than 400 years, more than 190,000 charitable organisations are legally present in the UK, and charity has become an essential part of British corporate and civic culture. The ‘UK-China Charity Initiative’ event held in China is the first of its kind, introducing British charitable resources and experience to Chinese enterprises, and deepening charitable cooperation between China and the UK.
(Photo 1: Lord Mayor of the City of London Peter Estlin delivering a keynote speech)
Alderman Peter Estlin, the Lord Mayor of the City of London and the co-chairman of the “UK-China Charity Initiative” said in his keynote speech that the theme of ‘Shaping Tomorrow’s City Today’ included two missions, namely promoting innovation & technology and addressing social inclusion. In terms of the first mission, he was delighted to see that the Fintech companies in the delegation had forged promising relationships with Chinese companies. Moving on to the second mission, the Lord Mayor said that by partnering with the CCCUK, The Lord Mayor’s Appeal was able to work on poverty alleviation in China, in particular, raising funds for a rural schools in Shanxi province. The Lord Mayor praised the initiative, saying that ‘The UK-China Initiative is a prime example of the mutual benefit that comes from a strong partnership between our two countries.’ He also stated that he ‘looks forward to what more the CCCUK and the Lord Mayor’s Appeal can do together’ as they ‘build in trade and beyond in our long future together.’
(Photo 2:Donation Ceremony )
Fang Wenjian, Chairman of the CCCUK and General Manager of Bank of China London Branch, said that as one of the series of activities of the ‘UK-China Charity Initiative’, the aim for this poverty alleviation project is not only to help improve education infrastructure for young people in poverty-stricken areas, but also to utilise international resources, putting forward new ideas for poverty alleviation and finding innovative solutions to alleviate poverty successfully. The UK-China Charity Initiative has shifted from businesses acting individually to cross-country cooperation. The CCCUK will continue to encourage more Chinese companies in the UK to participate in charitable activities, foster the development of UK-China public welfare and promote UK-China economic and trade cooperation. The crowd witnessed the cheque presentation by Ms. WU Lin, Secretary-general of the CCCUK and John McLean OBE, CEO of ‘UK-China Charity Initiative’.
(Photo 3: VIPs Group photo)
HU Junlong, the headmaster of the rural school that received the cheque donation, expressed his gratitude to the Lord Mayor’s Appeal and the CCCUK for donating the funds. He said this was not only a much-needed gesture of good will and a new example of alleviating poverty with a targeted measure, but also in essence reflected the friendship of British and Chinese people.
Attendees have expressed their appreciation for this event and looked forward to seeing more opportunities for enterprises, institutions and individuals to get involved in ‘UK-China Charity Initiative’, opening up new channels for mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the UK.
2019年3月下旬，伦敦金融城市长率多家英国知名机构和企业代表团访问中国，并于3月21日联合英国中国商会在英国驻华大使馆“Shaping tomorrow’s City Today”招待会上举行“中英公益”扶贫项目爱心支票捐赠仪式, 中英双方共同为中国贫困学校献上爱心。
伦敦金融城市长艾思林（Alderman Peter Estlin），英国驻华使馆贸易公使彭雅贤（Richard Burn），英国中国商会秘书长吴麟，伦敦金融城市长倡议中国组负责人John McLean OBE以及中英政商界领导出席了爱心支票捐赠仪式，来自伦敦金融城、英国国际贸易部、英中贸易协会、英国工业联合会、中国英国商会、英国中国商会以及企业、机构、政府、使领馆等100余名嘉宾现场见证了爱的传递。
“中英公益”倡议联席主席、英国中国商会会长方文建表示，作为“中英公益，共筑和谐”系列活动之一，本次扶贫项目不仅仅解决贫困地区青少年教育设施困难，还是凝聚国际资源，开拓扶贫思路，创新扶贫模式的成功典范。中英公益倡议由企业自发公益模式转向跨企业联合公益模式，到跨国合作模式，英国中国商会将鼓励更多的在英中企参与慈善活动，推动中英公益发展，为促进中英经贸合作作出更大贡献。当晚，英国中国商会秘书长吴麟和中英公益倡议首席执行官John McLean OBE在嘉宾们的见证下进行了爱心支票捐赠。