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)

Ushering In the New Year of the Horse

February 6, 2014 3:52 PM
By Merlene Toh-Emerson, Co-founder of CLDs in Ad Lib Magazine February Issue

Merlene Emerson at Glasgow ConferenceOn behalf of Chinese Liberal Democrats Merlene Toh Emerson wishes everyone a Happy Chinese New Year and gallops through the past year's activities [with Phil Ling as Chair].

"We engaged two wonderful interns, Kevin and Bella (Jan-March) to assist with our Annual CNY banquet (Year of the Snake) and at Brighton Spring Conference, where PPC Sarah Yong made her spectacular debut at the Rally.

In May, Alex Payton won at twin byelections in Newbury bringing our number of CLD Councillors to four (others being Linda Chung in Camden, Helen Chuah in Colchester and Sam Li in Lewes).

In the Summer, we held a series of "East West networking events" the first hosted by Tim Clement-Jones and Jo Swinson at the House of Lords, and the second with Biz Sec Vince Cable at Westminster's Roux Restaurant.

At the Autumn Conference we celebrated CLD's 7th birthday with Paddy Ashdown (something of a fixture on the calendar now). I also chaired a fringe presenting a CLD commissioned report by Carl Carlstedt and Chris Georgiou on "UK China Twinned cities- a friendly gesture or a viable channel of trade and investment for regional cities?". Graham Watson and Duncan Hames were on the panel with Vice-Chair, Jerry Cheung to discuss the findings. It has since been published as an e-book on Amazon with a Foreword by Nick Clegg,

In November Alex, Sarah, Steven Cheung and I were part of a British-Chinese delegation to China and Hongkong. We met Government officials, economists and academics, and visited mega businesses parks in Guangzhou and Shenzhen. In HK we met with Jasper Zhang, President of the Legislative Council who gave us an insight into political changes on the horizon.

Which brings us full circle to another year: You are all invited to our first joint Lunar New Year banquet, with Korean Liberal Democrats on 11 February with Danny Alexander MP [see AdLib page 38 for details] .

The Year of the Horse represents positive qualities including "hard work and perseverance, decisive leadership, action and energy and a committed team spirit" wrote Nick Clegg in his CNY message to the Chinese press this week. So shall we all call on the Spirit of the Horse to get us through this coming year?"