Welcome to the Chinese Liberal Democrats

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

The Chinese Liberal Democrats, patrons Sir Ed Davey MP and Sir Menzies Campbell, is an associated organisation of the Liberal Democrat Party. We exist to explore ways of reaching out to the Chinese and SE Asian diaspora communities 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!

  • Chinese Liberal Democrat Candidates 2010
    Survey: Apr 21, 2021
    4 questions

    Chinese Liberal Democrats was established in 2006 primarily as a bridge between the Liberal Democrats and the Chinese diaspora communities in the UK, to give a voice to those of Chinese heritage.

    With the rise of China's importance and the strength of its economy, coupled with encouragement by founding Patrons Paddy Ashdown and Sir Menzies Campbell, we found ourselves drawn into commenting on UK-China relations and on informing party policy.

    However after 15 years, partly triggered by increase in race hate crime against the Chinese as well as people of East and South East Asian background, we have thought it timely to consider a change of name to expand our reach and target membership to people from other E and SE Asian diaspora communities.

  • Image of Zurich
    Article: Apr 19, 2021
    By Louise An, guest blog

    Switzerland's first voting in 2021 was held on the first Sunday of March, when over 50% of qualified voters decided to ban Muslim women from covering their faces in public places. Before the vote, the Swiss far-right party and the Swiss People's Party (SVP), which proposed the initiative, put up posters across the country with a Muslim woman whose face was covered by burka; we only saw her angry and fierce eyes. "Stop Extremists!" was the main message that SVP delivered to the public.

  • CRED Report April 2021
    Article: Apr 10, 2021
    By Dr Yeow Poon, Chair of CLDs

    CLD was one of the 325 organisations and 2,004 individuals who responded in good faith to an open consultation in November 2020 by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities.

    The Commission was established by Prime Minster Boris Johnson to investigate race and ethnic disparities in the UK and the state of race relations today. Although the report made some sensible recommendations its overall tone and the conclusion that there is no evidence of institutional racism, structural racism or white privilege in the UK is wrong. The report has been utterly rejected by increasing numbers of academics, anti-racism organisations, health professionals and even professional bodies, like the Royal Institute of British Architects and the British Sociological Association. The report has been criticised for cherry picking data to suit a pre-determined narrative and ignoring huge swathes of research.

  • Cllr Marguerita Morton
    Article: Apr 7, 2021
    By Cllr Marguerita Morton, Tunbridge Wells, St Johns Ward

    I am a Councillor on Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and I reported to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee at our March meeting that we had to be vigilant when Hong Kongers with BN(O) status start to arrive in the country in family groups. I warned, with hate crime on the rise even in Tunbridge Wells, the Community Safety Team had to be alert to people being attacked for their ethnicity. Hate crimes had risen locally by 3.2% since last year due in part to the initial portrayal on the media that the Chinese were responsible for the spread of the "Wuhan virus".

  • PPC James Main, David Heath and others
    Article: Mar 21, 2021
    By James Main (based on an interview by Merlene Emerson)


    My mother is Hong Kong Chinese and from a long line of Chinese merchants in Hong Kong who unfortunately suffered badly under the Japanese. My father was an engineer in the Merchant Navy and he was from a very small fishing village in the North East of Scotland and met my mother in Hong Kong.

  • David Nam and family circa 1955
    Article: Mar 12, 2021

    David was the first British Chinese Councillor elected across all parties as far back as 1976. CLD's Merlene Emerson had the privilege of interviewing him for this blog.

    Q 1. ME: Could you share with us a bit of your family background? I understand your story is both typical of its time as well as unique in its own way.

    DN: I was born in Carmarthen, south west Wales in 1940. My father, born 1888, originally came from Canton (Toi San) area, landing in Liverpool in the late 20's via Malaysia. He actually stowed away on a boat and had paid Chinese sailors to look after him whilst on board! There is a family myth that he intended to meet up with his brother who lived in Chicago, but the US law at the time prohibited Chinese naltionals from entering the country.

  • Article: Mar 8, 2021

    To mark International Women's Day 2021 we thought we should highlight some diverse voices you could follow who are speaking out on issues like racism, equality and liberal values.

    British East Asian voices

    A recent BBC Three documentary exploring Beauty, Sex and Bodies, presented in a very honest way by Elaine Chong is still available to view on BBC iPlayer.

  • Myanmar protests
    Article: Mar 2, 2021
    By Dr Yeow Poon, Chair of CLDs, Chair of Policy in West Midlands in Libdem Voice

    History appears to be repeating itself in Myanmar with the military unwilling to relinquish control. Will thousands be killed again, as massive numbers of people nationwide protest in the streets and are engaged in civil disobedience?

    Following independence from British colonial rule in 1948, disagreements amongst political elites, the civil wars with ethnic-based groups and anxieties over communist influence led to General Ne Win forming a caretaker government in 1958. An election was held in 1960, but when minority groups pushed for a loose federal structure, which were seen by the military as separatist movements, General Ne Win took over in a coup d'état.

  • Sir Vince Cable MP
    Article: Feb 18, 2021
    By Merlene Emerson

    Over the last 15 years, a fixture on the CLD calendar has been our Lunar New Year dinner celebrations, usually ushered in by loud drumming and cymbals which accompany a lion dance, and always a sumptuous 8 course meal, crowned by an after-dinner address by a distinguished LibDem speaker.

    This year, however, due to Covid 19, we had to hold it virtually on Saturday 13 Feb via Zoom, but it was no less exciting and memorable. Our key note speaker was none other than Sir Vince Cable, who had recently published his timely book on the rise of China entitled "China: Engage!". He provided a sweeping account of his previous engagements with China, from his time as an economist with Shell, to his years as Business Secretary. I personally recall accompanying him on one of his China trips as part of his business delegation circa 2012.

  • Year of the Ox CLD image
    Article: Feb 7, 2021
    By Dr Yeow Poon, Chair of CLDs

    As the Year of the Rat gives way to the Year of the Ox, there is much to reflect on. For all of us, 2020 was a difficult year; some of us touched by death and many by loss of income, wellbeing and self-worth. So much has changed, and yet not changed.

    Those of us with memories of SARS watched with concern the British Government's late and botched efforts to tackle COVID. We saw COVID-related hate crime spike as Chinese people were shunned, and verbally and physically assaulted. Internet memes depicting Chinese people as sources of COVID were widely shared.

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.

Linda Chung: Lib Dem Councillor for Hampstead Town.

Anna LoAnna Lo to quit Northern Ireland politics due to racial abuse