Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Freedom Ceremony of the City of London: Firm Confidence in a Brighter and Shared Future
Lord Mayor Peter Estlin,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to begin by expressing my appreciation to the City of London Corporation for bestowing upon me the honour of the Freedom of the City.
I also wish to thank all of you who are present today for joining me on this significant occasion.
Being a "Freeman" is an extremely high honour. My British friends told me that two hundred years ago, being a Freeman would have given me the privilege to "carry a naked sword in public" or "drive sheep over London Bridge".
Today, it is still a great privilege to be a City Freeman. The City of London is such an extraordinary institution. My summary of the City's status is as simple as one, two, three, four: In a space of one square mile, the City hosts two thousand financial institutions, contributes to three percent of the UK's GDP and manages four trillion US dollars of assets.
I cherish this honour of the Freeman.
I believe it is a recognition of the work of not just myself but the Chinese Embassy.
It demonstrates the importance that the City of London attaches to China-UK financial cooperation.