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A Double First in the Year of the Rooster

February 12, 2017 11:21 AM

Imperial College Lion Dance at NLC 2017It was the first time that Chinese Liberal Democrats held a Chinese New Year event at the National Liberal Club and a first too for the Club to celebrate the Lunar New Year (since its founding by William Gladstone in 1882)! The event was by all accounts a resounding success.

Never had the Club witnessed the likes of a Chinese lion dance accompanied by the sounds of drums and cymbals, as the Imperial College Lion Dance team kicked off the evening with a spectacular performance. A prancing lion led the way from the foyer up the grand marble staircase to the first floor members' bar and finally to the magnificent David Lloyd George Room where dinner for over 100 guests was served.

Club Vice-Chairman Rupert Morris welcomed guests who were treated to a four course meal with Chinese dim sum starters, a hot and sour soup, Chef's special duck with plum sauce, and toffee banana to finish.

Prof Kerry Brown at CLD dinner 2017Professor Kerry Brown of the Lau China Institute was the key note speaker for the evening sharing his vast knowledge on China and views on UK China Relations post Brexit. Having served as a diplomat in Beijing and written 11 books on China, Prof Brown was cautiously optimistic. He believed that UK remains a key trading and investment partner for China in view of London's importance as a financial centre and the wealth of innovative technologies and businesses in the UK. He took a range of questions from the audience including on the sensitive issue of Taiwan, on China-Russian relations and China's role on the world stage especially in leading on the green front.

The evening ended with an exciting auction with guest auctioneer Tom Brake MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs with prizes donated by, amongst others, Sir David Tang of China Tang, artist Albert Kueh and Caroline Pidgeon AM of the London Assembly. All proceeds would go towards the valuable work of the Chinese Liberal Democrats including supporting Chinese candidates in the coming elections: Cllr Tatyan Cheung standing in the Cotswolds, Sarah Cheung Johnson in South Cambridgshire and Marguerita Morton in Tunbridge Wells.

Co-Chair of CLDs Merlene Emerson MBE, said:

"We were delighted to have had a sold out event and been able to introduce Chinese culture as well as the work of Chinese Liberal Democrats to a wider audience.

"Liberal values and aims are more important than ever before with growing threats of xenophobia and intolerance. The Chinese Liberal Demnocrats will continue to promote an open, tolerant and inclusive society and encourage more to join us and have their voices heard."

Chinese NY17 Merlene