LONDON, July 10 -- The home of former British Prime Minister Edward Heath on Thursday held a photographic exhibition to celebrate the ever closer relations between China and Britain since his premiership.
Heath served as Britain's prime minister from June 1970 to February 1974. During his term, Britain established full diplomatic relations with China in 1972. He paid multiple visits to China during and after his premiership.
The exhibits included a wide array of rare photos showing the prime minister visiting China and meeting Chinese leaders, from Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping.
The exhibition was held in Arundells, Heath's house in Wiltshire of England, which was the home of the former prime minister from 1985 until his death in 2005.
At the exhibition, Chinese ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming said "British political leaders, represented by Sir Edward Heath, broke the political ice" with China in the 1970s.
"When drinking the water, we should not forget who dug the well. In that spirit, China never forgets the contributions of the old friends on the China-UK relationship," Liu said.
"He has very close relationship with China, and this is what I think of the significance of the visit today. We'd celebrate that close bond and friendship that he had with China and the future relationship within these two countries," said Stuart Craven, curator of Arundells.
"His connections with China are evident throughout the house, including photographs with Chairman Mao and Deng Xiaoping, Chinese wall paper. Plus, we've got Qianlong vases given to him by Chairman Mao," he added.
The estate reflects Heath's time in British public office and contains his collections of paintings, sailing and musical memorabilia, Chinese artworks, photographs and so on.
Now the estate has been managed by Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation after the politician's death in 2005. The house and gardens are now open to the public.