This week the China Chamber of Commerce in the UK (CCCUK) officially donated the first batch of medical supplies to The Lord Mayor’s Appeal (TLMA), the official charity of City of London, to be distributed throughout the NHS, to care homes, and beyond.
The donation consists of 1.862 million items, donated by CCCUK member Bank of China, including 20 ventilators, 722,000 units of medical masks, 100,000 units of N95 masks, 19,000 sets of medical protective clothing, 19,000 sets of goggles, and 1 million pairs of medical latex gloves. More are to follow, with commitments being made by CCCUK members.
The medical supplies will be donated to the UK’s NHS hospitals, care homes, overseas students studying in the UK, overseas Chinese in the UK, and local communities. The proactive and swift response from the Chinese enterprises demonstrates the unity between the UK and China, as well as their courage and resolution to fight against the pandemic.
Following the assistance of the British Embassy in China, approximately 4,000 boxes of medical supplies weighing 65 tons are at Shanghai Pudong Airport ready to be delivered to London via official UK government channels. Twenty ventilators arrived in London on 6th April as part of the the first batch of medical supplies donated by the CCCUK to the UK Government. The generous donations received from the Chinese enterprises will assist the UK to better help the vulnerable and become stronger when facing the pandemic.
Mid March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered a national speech in the face of the developing severity of the virus, he urged the business community to provide ventilators to help the NHS. CCCUK took action in the first instance by issuing an initiative ‘UK-China United We Stand – UK COVID-19 Outbreak Donation Campaign’ to call upon its members to donate ventilators and other key medical supplies to the UK.
In addition to Bank of China, many CCCUK member companies, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China London Branch, China Construction Bank London Branch, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank London Branch, Sinochem Europe Holdings plc., Huawei Technologies (UK) Co., Ltd., PetroChina International (London) Co., Ltd., Agricultural Bank of China London Branch, SINOSURE, Greenland (UK) Investment Limited, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation Sinopec UK Office and Makin Metal Powders (UK) Ltd. are also in process of purchasing and organising ventilators and other urgent protective equipment.
At the virtual donation ceremony held by both parties, H.E.Liu Xiaoming, Chinese Ambassador to the UK, spoke highly of the proactive role played by the Bank of China and CCCUK in raising medical supplies to support the UK’s fight against the pandemic. He expressed that, the donation ceremony once again embodied Chinese enterprises’ social responsibility and international duty, it showed the genuine friendship between the UK and China uniting together through difficult times, as well as the cooperative spirit between UK and China as they join hands against the virus, manifesting the rich connotation of the ‘Golden Age’ of China-UK relations.
Mr Fang Wenjian, Chairman of CCCUK and General Manager of Bank of China London Branch, expressed his thanks, stating that “we have not forgotten the support China has received from the British people when the pandemic was at its worst in China. Now, as we confront this difficult time in the UK, our members will consolidate forces, fulfil our social responsibilities, raise even more medical supplies for the NHS and help as much people as we can.”
Richard Burn, HM Trade Commissioner for China, said that he is “extremely grateful for CCCUK’s generosity shown through their support for the UK in fighting against the pandemic.” The 20 ventilators will have significant effect on saving the lives of critically ill patients of COVID-19. He went on to describe the act as a symbol of friendship between the UK and China and a reflection of good relations between the two countries., which will hugely support the NHS medical staff, and will further strengthen UK’s confidence in overcoming the virus. He believes that the UK and China will establish an even friendlier and closer cooperative relationship after the crisis.
The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor Alderman William Russell, Lord Mayor of City of London expressed his heartfelt thanks to the Chinese companies that offered a helping hand during this critical time through video. He described this charitable act as “like sending charcoal in snow, an embodiment of the friendship between the two countries.” He commented: “on behalf of the City of London and the many beneficiaries of these generous donations, I would like to thank our friends in China for their support and kindness. This type of international collaboration is a glimpse of light in an otherwise dark time. I really, sincerely hope that I will be able to return to China during my Mayoralty, not only to continue to strengthen our partnership across financial and professional services, but also to thank our Chinese partners, and particularly the Chairman of the Bank of China, for the kindness that they have shown in this, our moment of need.”
John McLean, Head of China-UK relations for The Lord Mayor’s Appeal highlighted that “The Lord Mayor’s Appeal charity supports the most vulnerable in the City and beyond and can only assist those affected by covid-19 due to the generosity of its partners, supporters and the donors we are thanking here today. Supporting others in their hour of need knows no borders and on behalf of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, I would like to thank the Bank of China, CCCUK and the Chinese people for their generous donation of the ventilators and 1.86million pieces of PPE which will all go to our NHS and to the British people. Such a gift reflects the deep friendship which exists between our two countries which will, he believes, further strengthen the bonds between UK and China.”