GBCC Chairman Peter Batey Steps Down After 10 Years

Lord Howe of Aberavon, GBCC’s honorary President, hosted a reception at the House of Lords to pay tribute to Peter Batey OBE who stepped down as GBCC Chairman on December 31st after 10 years in office.

The Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, thanked Peter for his important contribution to building UK-China relations.

The Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP

The Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP

Lord Howe said that under Peter’s leadership the Great Britain China Centre had done invaluable work in building trust and understanding with China through political dialogues, launching the UK-China Leadership Forum which had held seven annual events to bring together politicians from both sides, and the annual UK-China Young Leaders Roundtable.

Peter Batey Farewell (1)

[from left] Peter Batey OBE, The Rt Hon Hugo Swire, Hugh Davies, Richard Pascoe

“We at GBCC owe an enormous debt of thanks to Peter for the great service he has rendered this small but vitally important organisation,” Lord Howe said

The Lord Howe of Aberavon CH Kt QC PC

Mr Ni Jian, Minister at the Chinese Embassy, also attended, as did Peter Batey’s two predecessors – Graham Greene who was Chairman from 1986 to 1997, and Sir David Brewer, Chairman from 1997 to 2004 – both of them now honorary Vice-Presidents of GBCC.

Peter Batey Farewell (2)

Hugh Davies, senior Vice-Chairman, recalled that GBCC was set up 40 years ago in 1974 following the “Genius of China” exhibition held at the Royal Academy in 1973, which was jointly organised by the Great Britain China Committee and Times Newspapers.  The proceeds of the exhibition were donated by Times Newspapers to establish the Centre, which the British government agreed to support with an annual grant-in-aid from the FCO

Peter Batey Farewell (3)

[from left] The Lord Howe of Aberavon, Hugh Davies, Sir David Brewer

Under Peter Batey’s chairmanship GBCC had deepened and strengthened its partnerships with China in the field of legal and judicial cooperation, working closely with the Supreme People’s Court, the Procuratorate and several leading university law schools, he said.  GBCC’s work had helped to deepen the understanding of China among the three main parties in Parliament and had improved China’s understanding of the UK.  He expressed thanks to Peter for his dedication and for his personal generosity to the Centre.

Three other GBCC honorary Vice-Presidents also attended – Lady Youde, widow of the late former Hong Kong Governor and former British Ambassador to China, Sir Edward Youde, Lord Mandelson and Lord Powell, as well as Lord Wilson, former Governor of Hong Kong and a member of the Centre’s Council of Advisors.

Peter Batey Farewell (4)

After stepping down as Chairman after the maximum 10 years permitted under the regulations for non-departmental public bodies, Peter Batey was himself appointed an honorary Vice-President by the GBCC Board. A new chairman of GBCC will be appointed in early 2015. Meanwhile Hugh Davies, as senior Vice-President, takes over as acting chairman.

Date posted: 07 January 2015

Categories: Board & Advisors