We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

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!

  • Statue of Gladstone CNY
    Article: Feb 19, 2018
    By Merlene Emerson, Co-Chair CLDs

    What would Liberal Prime Minister Gladstone have thought of his statue holding two red lanterns, or of the sight of a Chinese lion prancing up the grand marble staircase of the Club that he had founded?

    The Chinese LibDems returned to the NLC for a second year running, but for the first time, Janet Berridge, (the first female Chairman at the National Liberal Club in its 136 year history) was present to host the proceedings.

  • Dr Vince Cable
    Article: Feb 14, 2018
    By Will Cheung

    A Chinese New Year message, from the Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats:

    I would like to wish a Happy New Year to our friends and members of the Chinese community in the UK and to all who celebrate Lunar New Year during this time of year. May it be a time of great joy and celebration with family and friends.

  • Merlene Emerson presents Sarah Cheung Johnson with a Chinese LibDems grant ()
    Article: Feb 12, 2018

    Sarah Cheung Johnson was a candidate in local elections May 17. She applied for and got a Chinese LibDem grant towards her campaign. She writes:

    I ran as a brand new candidate for my division in the Cambridgeshire County Council elections in May 17, coming 146 votes short of the Tory incumbent.

    I applied for and received a grant from the Chinese LibDems which I used towards having some more literature and paid phone banking. My area was a brand new one for Libdem activism and we had very scant data - we had to build up a delivery network, activists and voter data from scratch over a short period of 5 months. And all this in a division which has put UKIP in second place at the last by-election!
  • Book cover
    Article: Jan 28, 2018
    By Dr Yeow Poon, Chair of England China Business Forum and Vice-Chair of CLDs

    Given the way state institutions, whether in authoritarian or liberal societies, manipulate the public space in recent years, this is a timely book by author, Ya Wen-Lei. It explores the factors encouraging or discouraging open public discourse. Although the primary focus of the book is on the contentious public space in China, there are broader lessons to be drawn as populism with authoritarian tendencies seems to be gaining ground in western democracies.

  • Lord Paddy Ashdown at FCC
    Article: Jan 25, 2018
    By Kevin Cheung

    Lord Paddy Ashdown, Liberal Democrat leader and Patron of CLDs, had a two-day fact-finding mission to Hong Kong (27 Nov 2017 - 28 Nov 2017).

    Speaking to the Foreign Correspondents' Club, Lord Ashdown said Britain must remember its obligations to its former colony Hong Kong, even as it pursues post-Brexit trade deals with Beijing.

  • Prince Harry Megan engagement
    Article: Dec 28, 2017
    By Merlene Emerson in Libdem Voice

    The Queen has in her Christmas speech welcomed new members into the royal family in 2018.

    Prince Harry will soon have a mother-in-law who is African American and the young couple's future children will be of mixed race heritage. The society pages lap up the fairy-tale love story and we all cheer ourselves on how liberal we have become as a nation.

  • CLC monument design
    Article: Dec 17, 2017

    On 7 December the Ensuring We Remember Campaign issued a press release confirming that the site for a permanent memorial has been secured. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of ABP (London) Investment Limited, a 9.6m tall memorial will hopefully be erected at the primary entrance to the £1.7bn development at the Royal Albert Docks in Newham.

  • At Hongkong Intangible Cultural Heritage with Priscilla To & Merlene Emerson
    Article: Nov 25, 2017
    By Merlene Emerson, Co-Chair of Chinese Liberal Democrats

    On 15th November, Ming Ai Institute together with curators from Hongkong held an exhibition at the China Exchange of Hongkong's Intangible Cultural Heritage. Following consultation earlier this year, the 20th anniversary year of the establishment of the Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, a list of 20 items have been drawn up relating to the intangible cultural heritage of Hongkong.

  • 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:


  • 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.

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