As we welcome another Chinese New Year, Bene't Steinberg learns from the UK's All Parliamentary Group for China why characteristics of the dog are so popular in social circles.
Another Chinese New Year, with a celebration of the Year of the Dog hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group for China which Cambridge Assessment sponsors. As expected, there was a great deal of discussion about loyalty to friends, family and work – a key characteristic of the Dog. Honest, sociable and just, apparently they are popular in social circles; “everyone needs a Dog friend for advice and help”.
Both the Ambassador, His Excellency Liu Xiaoming - celebrating his record-breaking 8th year in post - and my old friend the Rt Hon Liam Fox MP (picture right with the Ambassador), Secretary of State for International Trade, were in emollient mood, talking up positive trade relations post-Brexit. Liam spoke of UK trade with China expanding by 34.9% this year alone and the Ambassador mentioned working and growing together, with the relationship now classed as ‘Golden Era 2.0’.
Despite all the MPs having to leave in the middle of speeches for a vote on the Budget – a regular hazard for anyone arranging events in Parliament - some did return and the Chairman of the Group Richard Graham MP expressed his gratitude for our support. See here for news of an APPG visit to one of ‘our’ schools in China.
Cambridge International’s CEO, Michael O’Sullivan (pictured left (on the right) with me (centre) and Richard Graham MP (left) who is chair of the APPG), was with me and, naturally engaged the Ambassador in Mandarin which he speaks fluently. I didn’t understand it but they certainly seemed to be on very friendly terms!
Group Director, Public Affairs, Cambridge Assessment