UK-China Leadership Forum

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The UK-China Leadership Forum is GBCC’s flagship political dialogue. It is held annually, alternately in the UK and China, most recently in Beijing and Wuhan in April 2018.

It has become an established platform to discuss, debate and establish respective positions on key domestic, bilateral and international issues, and develop lasting relationships between senior politicians of both countries.

Alumni on both sides have become ministers or have been promoted to prominent positions. Six currently serving UK ministers are alumni of the Leadership Forum – including the Rt Hon David Lidington MP and the Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP. China’s current Permanent Representative to the UN, Liu Jieyi, also led the Forum on the Chinese side for many years before taking up his current post.

The Forum is managed by GBCC and the International Department of the Communist Party (IDCPC), with funding provided by sponsorship from the private sector.

Yu Hongjun, Vice-Minister of the Communist Party International Department, told an alumni event in Beijing in July 2014 that the Leadership Forum plays a unique role and has unique value in UK-China bilateral exchanges. He remarked that the Forum:

“has become an important conduit for strategic communication between the politicians of both countries, for sharing experience on political and governance issues and for building mutual understanding and trust.”

Richard Graham MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary China Group and a veteran of China-UK dialogue initiatives, believes that the Forum can help improve mutual understanding, and has said that:

“From very different starting points this event creates the opportunity for politicians from both sides to build relationships and swap ideas – vital bridges for the future of China-UK relations.”


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