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Happy Chinese New Year Message from Sadiq Khan

Chinese New Year is a time to celebrate with friends and family, reflect on the past year and look forward to the future. As we mark the start of the Year of the Monkey, let us also celebrate the many contributions of London’s Chinese community which enrich our lives in this city. 

My story is one that will be familiar to many in the Chinese community. My parents came to London in the 1960s, my dad working hard as a bus driver while my mum sewed clothes. They provided for me and my brothers and sisters as we grew up on our London council estate. I worked hard at school and university and after qualifying as a lawyer I set up my own law firm and helped build a successful business from scratch. I still live locally with my wife, bringing up our two daughters.

This year, I am running to serve you as London Mayor.  I want all Londoners to have the same opportunities that our city gave me and my family: a home they can afford, a HIGH-skilled job with decent pay, an affordable and modern transport system and a safe, clean and healthy environment. 

As your Mayor I will:

  • Continue to support annual Chinese New Year celebrations to promote Chinese culture
  • Work with the Chinese business community and Westminster Council to secure the future of Chinatown as a hub for Chinese business and the community, as part of a wider strategy to protect and expand space for business across London
  • Work with London’s business community to promote economic links with China and East Asia
  • Introduce a zero-tolerance approach to racist hate crimes, and ensure the police have the resources they need
  • Work with London’s Chinese community leaders to promote understanding and build closer links
  • Support the Chinese community’s call for a London Memorial for the 95,000 Chinese Labour Corps members, whose contribution to Britain during the First World War has yet to be properly commemorated

I wish you and your family good health, prosperity and happiness this Chinese New Year. London is the greatest city in the world. Together let’s make it even better.

Best wishes,

Sadiq Khan  

2016 倫敦市長候選人簡薩迪 (Sadiq Khan)

 向華人社區賀年

 

新春廸吉,紫氣東來;送羊迎猴,感謝華人社區為我城增添無窮貢獻和魅力。

我的成長故事和很多華人家庭相似;我的父母在1960年代移居倫敦,父親是巴士司機,母親是車衣女工。我的兄弟姊妹都在倫敦出生,住政府平民屋。倫敦讓我們這般平凡的家庭有機會力爭上游,接受大學教育,為自己理想而奮鬥。我是合格律師,白手興家創立了自己的律師樓。我的妻子也是倫敦人,我們育有兩名女兒。我誠心渴望回饋這個美麗的城市。

角逐倫敦市長重任: 我會致力創造平等機會、供應廉租樓宇、提供高技術職位、合理薪酬、現代化而便宜的公共交通系统、一個健康和清潔的環境。

上任倫敦市長我會承諾:

  • 繼續支持華人新年節慶活動發揚中華文化
  • 與華商及西敏市政府攜手打造唐人街地標,輻蓋倫敦
  • 與倫敦商界致力提昇與東南亞及中國經濟聯繫
  • 嚴正處理種族岐視罪案,保障警力足夠
  • 和華人社區領袖加強溝通互動
  • 支持籌建一戰倫敦紀念碑以誌九萬五千名華工事蹟

華人社會勤奮向上的精神給我極大啓蒙;際此猴年春禧,祝禱閣下闔府安康,一帆風順。倫敦是世界上最美麗的城市,我們一起努力,讓倫敦光芒萬丈。

Happy Chinese New Year from Sadiq Khan

Happy Chinese New Year Message from Sadiq Khan Chinese New Year is a time to celebrate with friends and family, reflect on the past year and look forward to the...

Chinese New Year Message from Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP

The Chinese in Britain are a long established community who have made a huge contribution over many years to making Britain a vibrant and successful multicultural country. I wish the many thousands of people celebrating this Chinese New Year a healthy and prosperous year of the monkey.

I look forward to meeting representatives of the UK's Chinese community to listen to their thoughts on how we can build on the strong relationship that the Labour Party has established with the Chinese community and develop together the policies to help us make Britain a stronger and fairer society for all.

With very best wishes.

Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP

Leader of the Labour Party

 

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Happy Chinese New Year from Jeremy Corbyn

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They say the secret to great comedy is timing, but few within our Party will find reason for amusement at North Korea’s latest demonstration of their burgeoning nuclear capability. Kim Jong Un has chosen to perform another test detonation of a new, more powerful nuclear device at a time when our Party is at loggerheads over whether or not to renew our country’s own ageing nuclear capability. There are implications for both our Party, the Pacific region and the global community at large.

Jeremy Corbyn's case for British nuclear disarmament will not be helped by the emergence of a new nuclear power in the world, especially when the regime in question is governed by a maverick like Kim Jong Un who does not appear to be amenable to reason. For example, Xi Jinping is said to be furious over Kim’s decision to test a nuclear device without notifying him in advance, despite China being the DPRK's most significant benefactor. Kim gains nothing by angering China or alienating its leadership, though this has not stopped him from pursuing his nuclear programme in a manner that has antagonised his neighbour and ally.

But what does this actually mean for international defence and strategy? Well… Probably not a lot. Beyond the diplomatic implications, a nation state with Westphalian sovereignty -- albeit one that is frequently and variously described as ‘rogue’ or ‘isolated’ -- can be depended upon to behave in a predictable manner in the arena of nuclear standoff.

This is because there are good reasons to believe that even a totalitarian nation state with an eccentric and unstable figure like Kim Jung Un at the helm won’t deploy a nuclear weapon where there is likelihood of retaliation, even if it looked as though Kim was inclined to do so. Behind every despot is a suite of people who benefit from their patronage and in return shore up their leadership. When all a leader has to offer is the mutually assured destruction of their own society and the society of their most hated enemy, those that have the most to lose and the least to gain i.e. the political elites upon whom the leader is dependent, will see that as quite a hard sell indeed. We can reasonably assume that in such a situation, the apparatus that sustains their regime will turn against them.

In fact, these demonstrations of strength by Kim are designed specifically to appease those upon whom his leadership is dependent. International provocation of this manner places an emphasis on defence and militarisation, shoring up Kim’s support with his Generals. There is, however, a delicate balance to be struck between provocative displays of military might and destabilising acts of brinkmanship that could undermine his own leadership by making him appear imprudent to his own cohort.

It seems that, despite harsh international sanctions, North Korea remains determined to develop a nuclear capability, as well as a delivery system capable of striking the United States. The chances of this ever being used for the purpose it was designed are remote, making the likelihood of nuclear war not significantly greater than prior to Kim's latest test: but this is of course only kept in check by the prospect of his adversary's ability to retaliate.

Proponents of the government's plans to renew the UK's Trident programme  will point to Kim's regime as an example of why maintaining a nuclear deterrent is essential in a world where the scientific knowledge required to build a nuclear device is widespread,  and the resources necessary to construct one are obtainable even by a country incapable of feeding its own people. But those against the renewal of trident will claim the existence of the USA's own triad of nuclear weapons and our membership of NATO is sufficient to keep the lid on thermonuclear war.

It seems, in light of this, we might never be able to have a completely nuclear-free world so long as the potential for a rogue state to develop a weapon exists. And Kim's actions make it clear that this won't change any time soon.


 

Alex Chai is a member of Chinese for Labour and Director of Consensus, a non-aligned organisation fostering open and inclusive debate amongst different wings of the Labour Party. More information can be found at www.labourconsensus.org.uk

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I was sat in one of Beijing’s growing number of Starbucks when I was first told of girl X.

The air outside was thick with smoke from the city’s coal fired power stations and I had taken shelter.  A journalist friend handed me his phone; on the screen was an article from the People’s Daily about China’s youngest lung cancer victim – a girl who could not be named - from Jiangsu province.  She was eight years old.

The pollution outside, an eerie yellow cloud, veiled the city, enveloping skyscrapers obscuring anything beyond the fifth floor.  Girl X’s doctor had, without equivocation, gone on record at great risk to his freedom to declare that that very pollution was accountable for her condition.

As our political leaders meet in Paris this week to reach an agreement on tackling climate change we are asked to imagine a dystopian world where the catastrophic effects of failing to decarbonise our economies takes hold. We don’t have to: Girl X is the face of that future, and cities like Beijing offer us a dubiously voyeuristic opportunity to peer into its abyss.

Beijing_Smog_August_5.jpgThis week, again, Beijing is facing down severe pollution.  For those of us who have lived there, this is nothing new; an annual tragedy which engulfs 21 million inhabitants between the months of December and February.  The blinding inescapable smog, or ‘fog’ as the Government would call it, has even the youngest and fittest hacking up black soot from the back of their mouths - and, in my case, blood. 

Expat friends still living in Beijing joke that they have taken up smoking to guard themselves against the effects of poor air quality, the cigarette’s filter protecting their lungs from the pollution.

The pollution – effluence from China’s rapid, rampant industrialisation – peppers the air with tiny particles some 28 times smaller than the breadth of a hair which lodge deep into the lungs and can enter the blood stream.

The World Health Organisation recommends the level of these particles in the air should be no higher than 25 micrograms per cubic metre.  Beijing’s reading yesterday in one part of the city was 2,242.

To put this into perspective, yesterday in London the air quality index (AQI) – a calculation used by Governments including the Chinese to communicate pollution levels to the public – stood at 28.  A score below 50 is considered good (about 30 micrograms per cubic metre).  In Beijing, at the time of writing, the score read 426.

I remember the count on the day of first hearing of girl X.  It was 876.  The AQI scale is only supposed to reach 500.

It’s no surprise that in order to get the AQI figure I had to use a virtual private network, which routed my internet connection back through the UK, to access a website giving live information on the particulate matter reader atop the US Embassy building in Beijing.  The Chinese government continues to block access to the website.

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Girl X represents the tragedy that faces us if we don’t act.  It also represents the Chinese government’s indifference to the problem and its solution.

Inner-city air pollution is a blight which affects us all.  The framework agreed in Paris gives us the opportunity to tackle the catastrophic effects of climate change from pollution in the long-term.  But we must take action in the short term too.

London isn’t Beijing, but air quality in UK and other European cities is creeping towards a future we daren’t imagine. Carbon-sink building materials and bike helmets which ionise particulate matter might seem like technologies of the future, but they offer potential solutions to London’s worsening air problem. It’s time we have that conversation, before it’s too late.

Article written by Paul Afshar. You can follow him on twitter at @paulrezaafshar

 

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