Keynote Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the University of St Andrews: Ever to be Open, Ever to Excel
The University of St Andrews, 2 May 2018
很高兴访问美丽的圣安德鲁斯大学。我出任中国驻英国大使已经八年有余，走访了英国不少大学，一直期盼访问圣安德鲁斯大学，但一直未能找到机会。今天我终于来了，这使我想起我在大学学到的一句英国谚语：“可口的晚餐不怕晚”（It is never too late to have a delicious supper）。然而，我来英国后曾向英国朋友讨教，他们有的说这不是英国谚语，有的说这是。不管是不是，我今天来圣安德鲁斯大学的目的不是为了一顿可口的晚餐，虽然我要感谢梅普斯顿校长刚刚款待了我一顿可口的午餐。我还要感谢梅普斯顿校长告诉了我一句地道的苏格兰谚语：“彭斯之夜晚餐不怕晚”（It is never too late to have a Burns Supper）。
Vice Chancellor Mapstone,
Teachers and Students,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is a real delight to come to the beautiful campus of the University of St Andrews.
I have visited many British universities during my eight years as Chinese Ambassador to the UK. The University of St Andrews, however, remains on my wish list until the opportunity presents itself today.
This reminds me of an English proverb I learned at college which goes "It is never too late to have a delicious supper." Since coming to Britain, I have consulted my friends in this country. Some say it is not an English proverb. Others say it is.
Anyway, a delicious supper is not my reason to be here, although I thank Vice-Chancellor Mapstone for treating me to a delicious lunch a moment ago. I also want to thank the Vice-Chancellor for sharing with me a Scottish saying about supper: "It is never too late to have a Burn's supper".
Coming back to my reasons to visit St Andrews, they are first of all to appreciate the University's time-honoured history and rich cultural heritage, and second, to meet you, the teachers and students and exchange views on important issues of our world today.
I am overwhelmed by St Andrews' splendid list of alumni:
Five Nobel laureates;
John Napier, discoverer of logarithms;
Edward Jenner, the pioneer of smallpox vaccine and father of immunology;
James Wilson and John Witherspoon, founding fathers of the United States of America and signatories of the Declaration of Independence;
And Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
I am also impressed by St. Andrews' close ties with China. These include the student exchange programmes with Renmin University of China and the University of Hong Kong, and the joint Chinese PHD students programme with the China Scholarship Council. As I speak, there are over 550 Chinese students studying at St. Andrews.