Mr. President,

Prince Philip and I are delighted to welcome you and Madame Peng to Buckingham Palace this evening.

Your visit to the United Kingdom marks a milestone in this unprecedented year of co-operation and friendship between the United Kingdom and China, as we celebrate the ties between our two countries and prepare to take them to ambitious new heights.

The United Kingdom and China have a warm and longstanding friendship. Prince Philip and I recall with great fondness our visit to China almost thirty years ago, where we were privileged to experience your country’s rich history and culture, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the Terracotta Warriors: all unforgettable memories of China’s ancient civilisation.

Yet it was China’s desire to shape a new future which captivated us the most. We were struck by the energy and enthusiasm with which China’s leaders were forging ahead with a new and ambitious future for the Chinese people; and I well recall our discussions with the late paramount leader Mr. Deng Xiaoping, who was foremost among these leaders in setting a clear direction for China with his policy of reform. It was also Mr. Deng’s visionary concept of One Country Two Systems which opened the way for the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty under the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Read more by clicking here: The British Monarchy