British sociologist Martin Albrow addresses the opening of the photo exhibition celebrating the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up of China in London, Britain, on Dec. 11, 2018. Over one hundred scholars, officials and business leaders in the UK joined the Chinese Embassy in celebrating the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up at a photo exhibition at the Central Hall Westminster. (Xinhua/Han Yan)
LONDON, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- China's progress and development during the last 40 years has been remarkable and brought benefits to the world, British scholars said here at a commemorative event on Tuesday.
Over one hundred scholars, officials and business leaders in the UK joined the Chinese Embassy in celebrating the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up at a photo exhibition at the Central Hall Westminster.
The exhibition, featuring 40 photographs taken over the last 40 years in China, showcases the daily life of Chinese people and the rapid development in the country. Martin Albrow, British sociologist noted for his works on globalization, told the opening of the exhibition that China's reform and opening up has worked to the benefit of all nations, and the UK in particular.
Viewing it an enormous privilege to be at the celebration, Albrow said: "There is indeed a strong case for arguing that it was China's reform and opening up which gave the kick start to western globalization. The two biggest global corporations of the time, General Motor and Coca Cola arrived in China at that very time to talk of joint ventures. It was not until 1983 that globalization, as the drive for global markets, became the hot topic for western business."
He noted that the reform and opening up has always been based on socialism with Chinese characteristics, on ongoing reform of every sector of society and on win-win relations with other countries.
Colin Humphreys, British physicist and materials expert, told Xinhua that the fantastic exhibition tells a remarkable story of the development of China in the last 40 years.
"You see poor people (in the photos) and you see the wealth gradually increasing and you see small buildings and big buildings and people watching the first black and white television set in China. You get this tremendous idea of progress which has been so rapid. So many other countries have had progress over hundreds of years. Chinese progress has been compressed into 40 years, which is remarkable," he marveled.
Humphreys, who founded the Cambridge/Rolls-Royce Centre for Aerospace Materials, said he was most impressed by a photo featuring China's first independently-developed large passenger aircraft C919 rolling off the assembly line in Shanghai in 2015.
"To develop a plane like this there's so much really advanced technology in the engines, and also in the bodywork. It's really very high technology and just very impressive to have done this," he explained.
Liu Xiaoming, Chinese Ambassador to the UK, said in his keynote speech that these 40 years have been a glorious chapter in the history of China, which is written with the pioneering, relentless and united efforts and unswerving dedication of the Chinese people.
He noted that over the past 40 years, the international community, including the UK, have given their support for China's reform and opening up and taken an active part in it, which have been "instrumental in the success of this great cause."
"China-UK relations, after 40 years of leaps and bounds, is a best illustration of China's deep integration with the world. Going forward, China plans to deepen reform and open its market wider to the world. This matches well with the UK's goal of building a 'global Britain'. Such synergy will open up broader space and create more opportunities for the cooperation between our two countries in various areas," said Liu. The ambassador calls on China and the UK to continue to view each other's development with a rational attitude, to promote business cooperation in the spirit of partnership and to address global challenges with an open mind.
"We will continue to advance in the spirit of reform and innovation, and with the courage to overcome all the difficulties ahead. And we are ready to join hands with the UK and other countries to seize the opportunities of cooperation and share development benefits," he reassured.