Emma YuLian was recently co-opted into the Chinese Liberal Democrats' core team as Treasurer-elect. She speaks with CLD's co-founder Merlene Emerson about what drew her to the party and what advice she has for those interested in getting more involved in British politics.
Merlene: I understand that you read mathematics at Oxford University. Could you share a bit more about your background and experience?
Emma Yu Lian: I graduated from Oxford in 2011 with a Masters in Mathematics (MMAth), having been educated at North London Collegiate School prior to university. My education at Oxford was pretty comprehensive in terms of my Mathematical studies. In the later years (third and fourth) I was able to specialise, and was also required to produce a dissertation which was centred around mathematical epidemiology modelling (specifically using data from a dengue fever study in Peru).
Since then I spent 5 years in the city working as an actuarial analyst for Hiscox and then at Lloyd's of London. I am still a student member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.
Merlene: What an impressive cv! Can you tell us why and when you joined the Liberal Democrats?
Emma Yu Lian: I joined the Liberal Democrats as a student at Oxford. I chose the LibDems over the other parties as I agreed with the fundamental ideology of the party as well as its stance on important topics such as education and participation within the European Union.
Merlene: As a second generation immigrant to the UK, would you describe yourself as British Chinese (BC) or do you prefer the new lexicon British East and SE Asian (BESEA)?
Emma Yu Lian: I believe that the description British East and SE Asian may be more appropriate to my background and heritage (my parents both have Chinese heritage though they were born in British Malaysia and British Hong Kong respectively). British Chinese may still be applicable though.
Merlene: What would you say are the most important issues affecting and of concern to young people today in the UK? And those from black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background?
Emma Yu Lian: The following issues are important to me and I believe to many other young people: