UK ambassador gains deeper understanding from China tour

10:57, April 21, 2010      

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China is making great strides in its economic and social development, said U.K. Ambassador to China Sebastian Wood at a media briefing on April 20 to mark the successful completion of his 88-day tour of eight cities in China.

The ambassador left his footprints not only in metropolises such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, but also medium and small-sized cities like Lanzhou, Hohhot, Ordos and Baotou.

Sebastian Wood, British Ambassador to China

88-day tour around China

According to the ambassador, the purpose of his China tour was to get a better understanding of China's development and see the progress of China's urbanization.

"I want to see the transformation of China's cities with my own eyes, and I want to meet the people who are shaping the new economy and society. It is a perfect combination of modernity and development, rich and poor as well as advancement and opportunity," Wood said.

In western China, the ambassador was amazed by the progress made in infrastructure construction.

"I see many new schools in Lanzhou though the villages are poor. Children, especially girls, can go to school. The overall situation of elementary education in China has been improved over the past years. I also saw many beautifully and expensively-built mosques in the city, highlighting the importance of religion in China," he said.

During his trip to Chongqing municipality, the ambassador found schools had been built for the children of migrant workers.

"I am impressed by the government's efforts to reduce the imbalance between urban and rural, the rich and the poor,” Wood said.

He also met with young Chinese who work for NGOs, offering voluntary services and legal support to migrant workers and lending help to the disabled.

The ambassador noted the potential for cooperation between China and the United Kingdom on low carbon development when he visited cities and met the people in South China. During the meetings with the mayor and Party secretary of Guangzhou, the ambassador mentioned how the United Kingdom and China could cooperate even more closely to develop a low-carbon, high-growth economy.
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