2015 marks the first Year of Cultural Exchange between the UK and China, and celebrates 15 years of the UK’s diplomatic presence in southwest China. In early June, the British Consulate-General Chongqing hosted receptions in Chongqing and in Chengdu to mark the Queen’s Birthday and the 15th anniversary of British Consulate-General in South West China.
The British Consulate-General Chongqing was established on 1 March 2000. Throughout the past 15 years, it has been actively engaged in a wide spectrum of areas, playing a vital role in overseas exchanges in the region. Since the establishment of the Consulate-General, it has worked closely with local partners to strengthen links in trade and investment, culture and art, science and innovation, climate change and energy, achieving great success. In December 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron led a business delegation to visit Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province, helping British business leaders better understand the region, and thus promoting closer relationships between the UK and South West China.
In recent years, British companies have done well in South West China, especially in the urbanisation sector and in architectural and engineering design; quite a few landmark buildings in the region have been designed by British companies. Famous local companies, such as Chang’an, and CQME （Chongqing Machinery and Electric Co. Ltd.） have established themselves in the UK. We have also worked with local partners to promote carbon capture and storage technology, carbon trading, and collaboration on shale gas. In (2014), we signed a MoU with Chongqing Development and Reform Commission on strengthening co-operation in climate change and energy, which has laid a solid foundation for future collaborative work in this area.
Our cultural and education section has achieved great success in the region through a range of teachers’ training, school link ups , arts and cultural exchange projects, and social entrepreneur training schemes. 2015 marks a flagship year for UK-China relations with the first ever bilaterally agreed UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange. South West China will host a series of events across different art disciplines, headliner events include: Mother River – Yan Wang Preston 2015 China Tour Exhibition, The Selector, UK Music on the Go, etc.
Andrew Key, Chargé d’Affaires and Tina Redshaw, British Consul-General in Chongqing, spoke at Queen’s Birthday Party to thank local partners for all their support and help. Andrew Key said:
2015 is the golden year for UK-China relations. It is not only the 15th anniversary of the Consulate-General in southwest China, but also celebrates the first Year of Cultural Exchange between UK and China. We are looking forward to the upcoming state visit of President Xi Jinping. We hope to work with South West China more closely in wider areas.
Andrew Key, Chargé d’Affaires and Tina Redshaw, British Consul-General, presented Chevening Scholarship certificates to Chevening Scholars from the region. Over the past 15 years, the Consulate-General in Chongqing has supported more than 170 Chevening scholars from the region to pursue their studies in the UK.