Boris Johnson, the London mayor, sent his New Year message to the Chinese community in the British capital on Thursday, extending his gratitude to the Chinese people for their huge contributions to the city.
"This is the year of ox, a symbol of strength, patience and fortitude. It is curiously appropriate in the current climate, and those qualities will certainly help see us through the difficult times ahead," he said.
The mayor believes that with the qualities embodied in the ox, London "will not only survive the storm, but emerge even better placed as the best city in the world."
He noted that that one of the great qualities of London is the rich diversity of its people and "one of the most established and treasured of those communities are the Chinese."
"Thanks to the excellent work of the London Chinatown Chinese Association I know we can expect another fabulous festival this year, where Londoners and visitors alike will be able to celebrate Chinese food and culture in a year when the world could not fail to appreciate it," he added.
According to Johnson, the closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games were "a clear highlight for me in my first few months as mayor. I will never forget the spectacle and it sets London a high standard to aim for in 2012."
He also drew attention to London's Shanghai Week, which started on Thursday. The week will focus on China's largest city as it prepares to host the World Expo next year.