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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!

  • Armistice Day 2017 Chinese Labour Corps 4
    Article: Nov 14, 2017
    By Marguerita Morton in Libdem Voice

    I felt very privileged to be asked to represent the Chinese Lib Dems at this historic centenary of the arrival of the Chinese Labour Corps on the Western Front of WWI. The story was made more poignant by the fact that they did not know they were being sent into a theatre of the most devastating war of the 20th century. I was particularly saddened to hear the stories from some of the descendants that these men were not appreciated even at the time of their hard labours and continued to this very day.

    Luckily, through the records, diaries, and photographs of people of British Chinese descent, we have come to know their stories. We are extremely grateful to the Western Front Association who have given honour back to these Chinese labourers because they need to be commended for their bravery in coming to a distant land to work in such harsh, dangerous conditions.

    I feel great pride that the Chinese can be remembered for something heroic. We can all be proud that we are able to take such a prominent role in British society and be recognised for our talents such as the Arts, Literature, Academia. Law, Medicine, Science as well as Commerce.

    This will be the first of many years of recognition by Britain with regard to what the Chinese have done to preserve freedom and democracy in this country.

    As an adopted child of a British father and a Chinese mother, I have never known my roots. The story of Chinese orphans is centuries old as there has been a tradition of children being brought up by adoptive parents for all sorts of reasons. It leaves one with a sense of not belonging to either one or the other society. However, with a growing cadre of Sino British citizens now living here and the gradual realisation of Chinese history and achievements, I feel that our time has come.

    * Marguerita Morton is a former Councillor of Tunbridge Wells, Secretary to Tunbridge Wells Liberal Democrats and member of Chinese Liberal Democrats.

    Editor: Watch Marguerita and others from the British Chinese community making history in taking part in the procession and presentation of wreaths at the cenotaph on Armistice Day:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdKUv-8arlo&feature=youtu.be

  • Jonathan Fryer at Chinese LibDem Agm 2017
    Article: Oct 23, 2017
    By Jonathan Fryer, author in jonathanfryer.wordpress.com

    Liam Fox and other Brexiteers in the UK's current Conservative government are fond of saying that when we are "free" from the European Union, we will be able to enter into a great new dawn of trading partnerships with other big players around the world, not least China. Actually, it was David Cameron and the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, who really championed the idea of a bright future hand-in-hand with the People's Republic, though they never imagined that would be something totally separate from EU-China trading relations. Theresa May, interestingly, has been a little more cautious in her embrace of President Xi Jinping, who has been expertly consolidating his authority at the Chinese People's Congress this week. But despite the bluff reassurances of Liam Fox, David Davis and Boris Johnson, forging an advantageous new trading relationship with China is unlikely to be straightforward, for a number of reasons. First, until Britain formally leaves the EU - in principle on 29 March 2019 - it cannot make any bilateral arrangement with Beijing. Moreover, there are not sufficiently qualified negotiators in Whitehall to handle such a sensitive matter (as the EU has dealt with our trade negotiations for the past four decades) and little Britain, with 60 million inhabitants, is going to be at a distinct disadvantage in taking tough with the colossus of China, unlike the 500-million strong EU, which is still the largest trading bloc in the world. Bilateral trade is already skewed in China's favour, and is likely to be more so in future, not less. Other factors make prospects mixed. China under Mr Xi is becoming more assertive in global affairs, having largely sat on the sidelines for many years, even within the UN Security Council. Many people in China believe the time has now come for China to reassert its pre-eminence in the world, as was the case prior to 1500 and the rise of European Empires. The four hundred years of European dominance, followed by a century of American hegemony, may in future be seen as a blip in comparison to China's long supremacy. Then there is the issue of Donald Trump, who is repositioning the United States to be more isolationist (and certainly more self-centred), racheting up conflicts with countries such as Iran and North Korea in a way that risks souring US-China relations. Yet Theresa May aspires to be Mr Trump's greatest ally, despite disagreeing with him over the Iran nuclear deal. This could prove awkward. In the meantime, the British government has downgraded human rights as a priority in its foreign policy, which is sweet music to Xi Jinping's ears - though Britain must be careful to ensure that as a future relationship evolves it does not end up dancing to Beijing's tune.

  • CLD and LDiB forum 29.9.17
    Article: Oct 2, 2017

    The topic of our first joint forum with Liberal Democrats in Business on 29 September was chosen in part to emphasize that trade between UK and China will grow regardless of whether BREXIT does in fact happen.

    This was clearly illustrated by various power point slides presented by our first guest speaker, Dr Yeow Poon, President of the England China Business Forum showing how starting from a fairly low base, trade and investments between our 2 countries have been rising year on year.

  • Sarah Cheung Johnson Julian Huppert Merlene Emerson & Dr Yeow Poon
    Article: Sep 20, 2017
    By Sarah Cheung Johnson, Local Candidate in S Cambridegshire in May 2017

    My first LibDem Conference has been great fun but unfortunately far too short, as I only had a weekend pass. Still, I managed to pack in a whole lot in those two days - here are my highlights:

    The issue closest to my heart, Brexit, was a priority at Conference. Which other party would be brave enough, democratic enough, to let its members set its Brexit policy? LibDems one-by-one lined up to speak with passion and fire on our fundamental pro-European beliefs. The only argument was how to achieve an Exit from Brexit. The debate was LibDems at their best - people from all backgrounds - many speaking for the first time - sharing their thoughts, experiences and expert views with enthusiasm. A simple majority confirmed the party policy - that we will campaign to be a full member of the European Union (not just membership of the Single Market & Customs Union as per our General Election stance) and we wish to achieve this by having what Vince Cable calls a "First Referendum on the Facts", widening the franchise to include 16 & 17year olds, UK citizens who live abroad and the estimated 3 million EU nationals who make UK their home. If Brexit is such a great idea and will unlock so many untold positives why fear a vote on the final deal at the end of the negotiations?

  • Chinese Labour Corpos
    Article: Jul 30, 2017

    Whilst compatriots commemorate the losses from the Battle of Passchendaele at Menin Gate over the weekend, there was a screening of a new documentary at Regents University in London on the Chinese Labour Corps and their forgotten contributions in the Great War.

    Extract from the website of The Meridian Society, maker of the documentary film "Forgotten Faces of the First World War":

  • Sharon Chiu-Werhahn
    Article: Jul 11, 2017
    By Sharon Chiu-Werharn, Business Consultant and Friend of Chinese Liberal Democrats

    As I was watching the extravagant fireworks display marking the twentieth anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong, it occurred to me that my memories of this seismic event no longer had the lucidity and brilliance of twenty years ago. It did, however, succeed in jumpstarting the somewhat sluggish process of introspection and stocktaking.

  • Cllr Tatyan Cheung Cllr Jenny Forde and Maude Lomberg
    Article: Jul 9, 2017

    WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) are a campaign group that fights the injustice done to all women born in the 1950s affected by the changes to the State Pension Law (1995/2011 Acts).​​

    Cllr Tatyan Cheung had raised the issue of Women's rights at a recent Chinese Liberal Democrats executive meeting. He has also shared with CLDs about his work in persuading Cotswolds District Council to pass a motion to urge their local MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown to raise the issue of transitional state pension arrangements for women born after 1951 in Parliament.

  • Tim Farron portrait in front of Westminster
    Article: Jun 20, 2017
    By Sarah Cheung Johnson

    It is with some sadness that I write this post as Tim Farron is stepping down as leader of the Liberal Democrats because a Q&A event I attended with him organized by the Daily Mirror displayed all his best qualities: warm, engaging, passionate, witty and his arguments and points based on the most liberal of ideals: analytical and empirical thinking, not populist sloganeering. So although this blog piece was about the Q&A event, it's also a hat-tip to the man who was the Leader when I joined the party, post-Brexit, who made me tear up in Conference speeches and who fought for the 48% this year, instead of capitulating to the so-called 'will of the people' and the dogged Brexiteers who are still selling us a chimera. Thank you for your leadership, Tim.

  • Tricks on the Dead documentary on WW1 Chinese Labour Corps
    Article: Jun 18, 2017

    "Tricks on the Dead" is an award winning documentary by Canadian film maker, Jordan Paterson on the Chinese Labour Corps and their contributions during WW1. A screening of the hour long version of the documentary will be held on:

    Date: Wed 21 June 2017

    Time: 7-8.30pm

    Venue: CR 3A, House of Lords

    The event is hosted by Baroness Lorely Burt and there will be a Q&A after the film.

    'History is nothing but a pack of tricks we play on the dead.' - Voltaire.

    China first emerged into international affairs on its road to becoming a world power in the First World War. However its emergence is in the forgotten story of an unlikely group of Chinese peasants who were sent to an imperialist war they didn't understand. Zhang Yan, a Chinese history student from the same Shandong villages as the Chinese labourers of WWI, searches to restore the collective memory of those in China and around the world who have almost entirely forgotten about the 140,000 men who made this journey 100 years ago.

  • Alexander Payton
    Article: May 31, 2017

    Alex Payton is 43 and has lived in Greenham since 2004. A graduate of Oxford University, he is a barrister specialising in contracts, duty of care, housing and land. He has been town councillor and mayor of Thatcham, and was Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for NW Hampshire in 2015 also. In his spare time he plays cricket.

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.

CLD milestones over the last 10 years

Linda Chung: Lib Dem Councillor for Hampstead Town.

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