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Welcome to the Chinese Liberal Democrats

Creating a bridge between the UK Chinese community and the Liberal Democrats.

The Chinese Liberal Democrats, patrons Lord Paddy Ashdown and Sir Menzies Campbell, is an associated organisation of the Liberal Democrat Party. We exist to explore ways of reaching out to the Chinese community in the UK and to establish better understanding between the UK and China.

You can read more about our activities below, or using the links on the top right hand side of the page. Remember, we rely on people joining to really make a difference!

  • Silk Road map
    Article: Jul 20, 2015
    By Merlene Emerson, Vice-Chair CLD and Exec member of LIBG in InterLib July Issue

    On 29 June 2015, following the Liberal International British Group AGM at the National Liberal Club, [we] were treated to a talk by China expert and independent consultant, Andrew Leung on "The Silk Road and the Fragrant Harbour - China and HK in a transformed world".

    Galloping through close to 70 slides Andrew tried to impart to us in a limited time some of his vast knowledge. He started by describing the new world order as "multi-polar", "flat, connected and dynamic." As we move from G7 to G20 nations, there are an increasing number of areas where we will need to work co-operatively, whether in tackling the challenges of climate change or in space exploration.

    China's rise, on the other hand, is nothing new; there was a time in history between the Tang Dynasty in the 7th century till the industrial revolution in the early 19th century, when China held the number 1 position in the world. In 2010 she overtook Japan as the 2nd largest economy and was poised to overtake the US by 2030.

    Accompanying China's rapid growth, were a host of new problems, such as the rise of the trade unions, potential social unrest and the "monster of corruption". The world had been gripped by details of the Bo XiLai scandal involving the former Party Secretary of ChongQing, his wife and the murder of an Englishman. More recently the conviction of Zhou YongKang, former Minister of Security and member of the Standing Committee, sent shock waves through the country and signalled President's Xi Jin Ping's strength within the Party.

    It was however the topic of the new Silk Road ("One Belt One Road") that managed to excite the most interest at the talk. This was the new frontier, where East meets West. China, the great pioneering nation, has been investing vast amounts in new infrastructure by rail and sea to forge ever closer economic links with her neighbouring countries. And to finance her global ambitions, the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) was set up to rival the IMF and the World Bank.

    And what was the relevance of all this for us in the UK? Andrew suggested that there were equally vast opportunities for the UK, not only as one of the founding members of AIIB, but also as China expands westwards, we would be the recipient of much of her capital investments and as one of the top destinations for Chinese tourists and students.

    The presentation then moved on to the topic of Hongkong. In this area Andrew showed himself to be more conservative than liberal. Rather than commenting on the current political impasse between the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council, he dwelled instead on factual observations of the situation in HongKong, such as the frustrations facing HongKongers with the influx of Chinese visitors and migrants (a population of 7 million coping with 47 million visitors from China a year!) Admittedly there were widening inequalities with power held by big business in HongKong, but in his view the umbrella movement and the demands of the Pan Democrats for universal suffrage were somewhat idealistic and unrealisable.

    The talk was followed by a lively Q&A chaired by LIBG Chair-elect Phil Bennion. Was a strong EU in China's interest? What is China's budget on defence? Is the Chinese Communist Party at risk of losing control? How can the Pan Democrats be able to influence the executive in Hongkong moving forward?

    To wrap up the evening, Joyce Arram gave a formal response and a vote of thanks on behalf of LIBG.

  • Cllr Tatyan Cheung
    Article: Jul 15, 2015

    We are delighted to announce that we have a new Liberal Democrat Councillor of Chinese descent Cllr Tatyan Cheung who was elected in May this year to represent the New Mills ward of Cirencester in the Cotswolds.

    A former businessman restaurateur, Mr. Cheung believes in learning excellence and social mobility for the young, and supports a community approach to caring for the elderly.

  • Atyla ship
    Event: September 5, 2015

    Join Chinese Liberal Democrats for an adventure on board the training ship Atyla as she sails to the British Isles later this year.

    We are delighted to host visitors on board the tall ship when she is berthed in Canary Wharf Docks on

    Date: 5 September 2015

    Tickets are priced at £20 per head (£12 for students) to include light refreshments. Detailed programme and guest speakers to be confirmed.

  • Article: Jun 16, 2015
    By Merlene Emerson in Libdem Voice

    When is a Migrant an Expatriate? When he or she is a Brit abroad, obviously.

    Inspired by the twin concepts of emigration and immigration, Prof Caroline Knowles posed this question at the launch of her research and report [on 10 June], supported by the Runnymede Trust and Goldsmiths College and hosted by Baroness Hussein-Ece at the House of Lords.

  • New members reception May2015
    Article: May 28, 2015

    The recent General Elections was nothing short of disastrous for the Liberal Democrats. Many of our candidates lost their deposits and our hard working MPs their seats.

    Yet there are some rays of sunshine piercing through the dark clouds, and that is the renewed interest in liberalism and our cause. Since polling day. more than 14,000 people have signed up to join the Party including Chinese Liberal Democrats.

    CLD researcher and China watcher Carl Carlstedt puts it most aptly in his letter to us on the importance of carrying on the torch of liberalism:

    "I have just watched Nick Clegg's resignation speech and I am very saddened to hear the news of the tide that ousted many of our MP's and stunted liberalism in the UK for a while. I am currently still in Beijing finishing up my masters and couldn't feel more strongly that the Lib Dems played the strongest role in this past government fighting for the values that kept our country and our society so remarkable in the international system.

    …Our country can easily turn for the worse if we sacrifice our civil society and human rights that protect the vulnerable only in order to pursue profit and power to the few through the use of fear and grievance to bolster nationalism and international isolation."

    New member Dr YeeWah Foo said:
    "I joined the Party after meeting [CLD Chair] Linda Chung and found myself surrounded by so many warm-hearted and like-minded individuals. I am now inspired to do more both with the Chinese community as well as to expand our reach into the wider society".

    Daniel and his wife caught sight of Phil Ling on tv on the stage at the Count in Tooting and was surprised to see a Chinese candidate. He then checked out who Phil was and was invited to one of Chinese LibDem trademark Sunday dim sum lunches.

    Membership of CLDs is free for the first year to all new LibDem members. To find out more about what we do and our plans for the future, email info@chineselibdems.org.uk

  • DPM Nick Clegg MP
    Article: Apr 29, 2015

    Q&A by Editor of Singtao Chinese Newspaper, Alego Poon

    1. What are the policies in the Lib Dem Manifesto that you think would benefit the Chinese community in this country most?

    NC: Our starting point is that no matter who you are, where you come from and whatever your circumstances, you should have the opportunity to fulfil you potential. That's why we've used our time in government to take some great strides in tackling inequality and improving the lives of Britain's ethnic minority communities. So we've helped disadvantaged ethnic minority pupils close the gap with their peers through our £2.5bn Pupil Premium, providing targeted funding for pupils who need the most help. We've supported entrepreneurs from ethnic minorities by helping them get access to finance to start their businesses. And we're proud to have stood up to the xenophobic and nationalistic politics of UKIP, which threaten the wellbeing of new migrant communities and well-established ethnic minority communities, such as the Chinese community, alike.

  • Phil Ling with Nick Clegg GE 2015
    Article: Apr 16, 2015
    By Phil LIng, Parliamentary Candidate for Tooting in http://philipling.org.uk/

    The Liberal Democrats 2015 manifesto has been published and I'm really pleased that the theme is opportunity - we want to ensure that everyone, no matter where they are born, their ethnicity or religion, or how rich their parents are, has the same opportunity to reach their full potential, and to live their lives as they see best.

  • BCPWalkMEmerson
    Article: Mar 29, 2015

    On Sunday 28 March, Chinese Liberal Democrats supported a fundraising walk from Chinatown to Westminster via Limehouse (where Chinese immigrants first settled in London) and four Chinese community centres in Soho, Islington, Camden and Tower Hamlets.

    Speaking at the start of the walk, Merlene Emerson, Vice-Chair of Chinese LibDems and Co-Chair of Chinese WelfareTrust, one of the beneficiary organisations said:

  • BBC CHinese debate 26.3.15
    Article: Mar 29, 2015

    On Thursday 26 May BBC Chinese hosted a debate with Chinese representatives from the 4 main political parties at All Souls Church, Langham Place in the run up to May General Elections. The headline topic was "British Politics and the Chinese Community" with panellists:

    James Chan, Parliamentary Candidate from the Green Party,

  • Phil Ling PPC Tooting 2015
    Article: Feb 21, 2015
    By Phil Ling, Parliamentary Candidate for Tooting GE 2015 in http://philipling.org.uk

    Why do people, and by definition me, get involved in politics? asks Phil Ling.

    This week for the ordinary person they're probably thinking about half term entertainment or what to give up for lent. For the politicos out there, general election fever is slowly coming to the boil, but what makes thousands of activists give up their free time, and those like me, stand for election?

Twinned Cities e-book cover

On sale now both print (£6 plus delivery) and Kindle versions of our book "UK China Twinned Cities - a friendly gesture or a viable channel for trade and investment for regional cities". Email info@chineselibdems.org.uk if you would like to purchase a hard copy or click here to buy it online.

Merlene Emerson: interview with BC Project on why it is important to vote at the next elections

Linda Chung: Lib Dem Councillor for Hampstead Town.

Anna LoAnna Lo: MLA for South Belfast for the Alliance Party (sister party to LIberal Democrats).