Landmark visit to cement links between the lands of the Dragon

18 Sep 2015 11:14 AM

The First Minister Carwyn Jones will today welcome the Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Liu Yandong, to Wales in a landmark visit from one of the world’s most powerful countries.

Vice Premier Liu’s visit is the most significant by a Chinese politician to Wales and comes as part of a high-level dialogue event between the UK and China. A member of the Chinese Politburo, she has responsibility for education, health and sport within the Chinese Government.

During her two days in Wales, the Vice Premier will hold talks with the First Minister on areas of mutual interest and the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates will sign a Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation on cultural matters between Wales and China on behalf of the Welsh Government.

The Memorandum of Understanding will help to create new markets and encourage cultural organisations and creative companies in both nations to collaborate on new projects, exchanges and co-productions, for example in film or animation.

The First Minister Carwyn Jones said:

“Strengthening links with China, one of the world’s most powerful economies, has been a long-standing aim of the Welsh Government and this visit by Vice Premier Liu comes as a result of our engagement with the Chinese Government over many years.

“I warmly welcome the Vice Premier to Wales and I look forward to discussing Wales’s pro-business approach and the increasingly-strong economic ties between our countries, as well as the important cultural and educational relations between us.”

The Vice Premier will also visit Cardiff University with the First Minister to witness the signing of three Memoranda of Understanding on co-operation between the university and Chinese education institutions, that will lead to increased research and teaching opportunities in both Wales and China.

The First Minister and Vice Premier Liu will also speak at the UK-China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum, held in Cardiff as part of the UK–China People-to-People Dialogue, which aims to deepen engagement and understanding between the UK and China across a number of policy areas.

The First Minister will then host an official dinner this evening, where Welsh produce, such as Welsh lamb, Pembrokeshire potatoes, Tŷ Nant mineral water and Collier’s Welsh Cheddar will be served to the Chinese delegation and other guests. China is a growing market for Welsh food exports and the dinner will showcase the high quality of Welsh food and drink.

Tomorrow, Vice Premier Liu will visit Cardiff Castle, to highlight the welcome the castle gives to Chinese visitors by providing tours in Mandarin, and the cutting-edge SOLCER low carbon energy positive house, constructed by the Low Carbon Research Institute, a programme set up to promote and unite energy research across the universities of Cardiff, Swansea, South Wales, Glyndŵr, Bangor and Aberystwyth.

She will also visit an example of Chinese inward investment - the European manufacturing headquarters of Tongfang (THTF) Ltd, one of China’s largest TV manufacturers, at Margam. The £1.6million investment by THTF in this new assembly facility created 70 jobs and was supported by £600,000 business finance from the Welsh Government.