On Thursday 26 May BBC Chinese hosted a debate with Chinese representatives from the 4 main political parties at All Souls Church, Langham Place in the run up to May General Elections. The headline topic was "British Politics and the Chinese Community" with panellists:
James Chan, Parliamentary Candidate from the Green Party,
Steven Cheung, Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Walthamstow,
Jackson Ng, Parliamentary Candidiate for the Conservatives and
Vincent Lo, an executive member of Chinese for Labour.
Chairing the lively debate, Britt Yip of BBC Chinese, kicked off discussions by asking the panellists how significant the 2015 elections were for the Chinese in Britain.
"This is an opportunity for the Chinese community to come out to vote" says Steven Cheung, "especially in many of the marginal seats where their vote can make a difference". He also shared about how he had himself been working with Operation Black Vote to encourage young people to vote and have their voices heard.
It was tempting for panellists to try to make party political points, be it on the NHS, student fees or on the economy. However Steven urged everyone to consider what they can all do to help the Chinese community in the UK.
When the panellists were asked what motivated them to go into politics, Steven shared about how he was bullied when he was at school but then took control by joining the Student Council. The son of working class immigrant parents, Steven was passionate about issues such as youth unemployment and crime as well as the proliferation of gambling outlets in deprived areas including Chinatown.
Finally when asked what his chances were in getting elected in May 2015, Steven quipped: "I think my chances are 50:50, I can either win or lose".
The full debate can be viewed here. There are going to be 11 Chinese candidates standing in the May elections this year, 5 Conservatives, 2 Labour, 1 Green and 3 Liberal Democrats. The other two Chinese Liberal Democrats are Phil Ling standing in Tooting and Alex Payton in NW Hampshire.