One World, One Family: Building A Bridge of Friendship and Cooperation
– Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Opening Ceremony of the 17th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students UK Regional Final
QEII Centre, London, 24 March 2018
Chairman David Stringer-Lamarre,
Teachers and Students,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a real pleasure to join you at the UK Regional Final of the 17th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students.
For me, the “Chinese Bridge” has a very special place in my heart. The very first public event that I attended as Chinese Ambassador to the UK eight years ago was the “Chinese Bridge” competition. Tonight, I am attending this grand annual event for the fifth time.
I am pleased to see that there has been a growing enthusiasm for learning the Chinese language here in Britain over recent years.
An increasing number of schools are offering Chinese language courses.
More and more British people have gained a deeper understanding of China through learning the Chinese language.
And more and more young people have fallen in love with the language and culture of China.
The “Chinese Bridge” competition has become a grand gathering for the growing number of lovers of Chinese language in Britain and in the world. On this platform, a large number of talented contestants, who are well-learned in both the Chinese and Western cultures, have emerged.
One of them is David Geary. David and his team represented the UK in the finals of the 2017 “Chinese Bridge” and won the first prize.
Over the years, the “Chinese Bridge” competition has become more exciting. The British contestants have shown an increasingly high proficiency.
The theme of this year’s competition is “One World, One Family”. Family has a special meaning for everyone. The Chinese people have always had the belief that the whole world is one family.
In my opinion, the theme “One World, One Family” is highly relevant to the “Chinese Bridge” competition.
First, “One World, One Family” echoes the Chinese traditional value of harmony and peace.
As early as 2,500 years ago, Zixia, a disciple of Confucius, said, “Within the four seas, all men are brothers.” This spirit of great humanity is above the bond of blood.
For thousands of years, the Chinese people have carried forward this spirit, and developed the unique culture that values harmony.
We believe in harmony between man and nature.
We value peace and harmony in state-to-state relations.
We uphold the principle of “harmony without uniformity” in our society.
And we cherish harmony and benevolence in our ethics.
Let me quote from Chinese ancient philosophers.
Confucius said, “To establish oneself, help others establish themselves; to achieve success, help others succeed.”
His more well-known quote is, “Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you.”
Mencius said, “Care for the elderly as if they are your parents, and care for the children as if they are your own.”
Mozi said, “Love should be mutual, so should benefits in one’s exchanges with other people.”
These words have said it all about the Chinese people’s love for peace and harmony.
Second, “One World, One Family” lights up the way toward win-win cooperation as China and the UK pursue our respective dreams.
In the new era for building socialism with Chinese characteristics, China will deepen reform on all fronts and open wider to the world. We want to give our people a stronger sense of happiness, security and fulfillment. Our goal is to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
The British people are committed to building a country that serves everyone and realizing the British Dream of “each generation doing better than the last”.
At the beginning of this year, Prime Minister May paid a successful visit to China. During the visit, the leaders of our two countries reaffirmed their commitment to the China-UK “Golden Era”. As mutually-beneficial cooperation across the board continues to deepen, the peoples of our two countries share an increasingly closer bond.
The Chinese Dream and the British Dream share common aspirations. As China and Britain each pursue our respective dreams, our two countries have every reason to join hands and deliver more tangible benefits to the people of our two countries.
Third, “One World, One Family” embodies the common wishes of all countries for a world where the beauty of different civilizations are shared and equally appreciated.
To build such a harmonious world has been mankind’s shared dream for thousands of years.
In today’s world, the future and destiny of all countries are closely connected. The international landscape and governance system are undergoing profound changes. Challenges relating to security, development and environmental protection remain severe and complex.
Under these circumstances, the call for “one world, one family” urges all the countries in the world to:
- replace the old mindsets of “zero-sum game”, “I win you lose” and “the winner takes all” with the new concept of win-win for all,
- promote exchanges and mutual learning between different civilizations in the spirit of “harmony without uniformity”,
- and strive for consensus, tide over difficult times and support one another in achieving our common goals.
By working together, we can build a community with a shared future for mankind. By working together, we can create a brighter future for the world.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The contestants tonight come from different cultural backgrounds, but they are united by the same interest in the Chinese language and culture.
The Chinese language and culture has broad and profound meaning. Take for example the Chinese character “人”(ren), which means people. This character has two slanting strokes supporting each other. This means people can stand up and stand firm only when they support each other.
I think this is what the “Chinese Bridge” competition is about. If we all work hard and support each other in the spirit of “one world, one family”, we can build bridges between hearts, we can build bridges for cultural exchanges and we can build bridges of friendship and cooperation.
To all contestants at tonight’s UK final, I sincerely wish you success in this competition! What is more, I wish that you will go on to become ambassadors for closer exchanges and cooperation between the people of China and the UK.
I also want to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to the teachers and volunteers who have over the years taught the Chinese language and brought the Chinese culture to the British people. I thank you very much for your hard work. I look forward to your continued contribution to the China-UK “Golden Era”.
Now, I have the honor to announce:
The 17th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students UK Regional Final now begins!