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Merlene Emerson, Chair of Chinese Lib Dems congratulates organisers of China Image Film Festival on Opening Night

October 3, 2010 7:00 PM
By Merlene Emerson in China Image Film Festival audience at the Empire, Leiciester Square

Merlene Emerson at 2nd China Image Film Festival in London Oct 2010Good Evening distinguished guests Ladies and Gentleman.

It is wonderful to be here at the 2nd China Image Film Festival.

May I congratulate the organisers for putting on a larger and more magnificent festival this year with this feast of fantastic films in store for us in the coming week.

And may I say welcome to our many important guests and visitors to London. Directors, producers, actors and many talents who have come over to join us for this event.

Coalition Government's support for the Arts

As the Chair of Chinese Liberal Democrats, I am proud that our party is now a partner in the Coalition Government. It is therefore my privilege to say a few words regarding our Government's support of the Arts and Culture in the UK.

The Arts is of course critical and important to improving our quality of life. It provides us with freedom of expression, for developing ideas and sharing of dreams and aspirations.

The Cultural sector in London alone, has a turnover of over £18 billion a year. It is Government policy to be committed to supporting the arts in its many forms, to promote a strong and diverse local media industry, an independent BBC and to roll out super fast broad band across the country to make arts programmes more accessible.

It is also the Government plan to reform funding for the arts so that more money for example goes from the National Lottery into Sport, the arts and heritage projects.

UK and China relations

It goes without saying that the relationship between the UK and China is also very important to this Government. We would like to seek closer engagement with China at all levels, from trade and investment to cultural and educational exchanges.

As Ambassador Liu XiaoMing has said, the development of Sino-British relations is not only in the fundamental interest of 2 peoples, but also conducive to peace, stability and prosperity around the world.

And what better way of bringing China closer to the UK than through the medium of film: with the telling of stories and heart-felt experiences of the human condition. Differences in language and culture can be no barrier when it comes to the sharing of universal values and of truth.

Conclusion

So let me congratulate again the organisers of China Image Film Festival for bringing to London this season of films. And through the festival, sharing with us a bit of the new and fast changing China.

I was in Shanghai only this Summer for the World Expo and am always excited to see the transformation and progress currently taking place in China and Chinese society.

I am therefore delighted to take part in this event tonight. Together we will help foster greater mutual understanding between our 2 countries and at the same time greatly enjoy ourselves.

So please enjoy your evening.

希望各位享受今晚的节目

Thank you everyone!!