I want to wish everyone celebrating, across the UK and world, a Happy Chinese New Year. And let me join you in welcoming the Year of the Horse.
This is the biggest event of the Chinese calendar. It’s a time when families and friends – old and new - come together to honour the traditions of this great festival and enjoy the fireworks.
This is also a chance for us to recognise and pay tribute to the invaluable contribution made by Britain’s Chinese communities across our economy and society. And, this year, as we commemorate the centenary of the First World War, it’s important that we remember the bravery and incredible sacrifices made by the Chinese Labour Corps.
In so many ways, these individuals embody the very positive qualities that, I understand, the Year of the Horse represents. This includes hard work and perseverance, as well as decisive leadership, action and energy and a committed team spirit. And these values are important to all of us, as we work to secure Britain’s recovery and build a stronger economy and fairer society.
As part of that work, we are committed to boosting our trade with China: helping to create more jobs and drive growth across both our economies. Our 2 countries will also continue to cooperate on important global issues such as healthcare and the environment.
So, as we greet this New Year, together, let us focus on achieving greater peace, prosperity and understanding across the world in the months ahead. And, once again, let me wish you all good health and happiness – Gung Hey Fat Choy! Xin Nian Kuai Le!