Margaret Thatcher Conference on China and Britain

19/06/2018 - 19/06/2018

As Britain looks to reposition itself on the world stage post-Brexit, there are few questions as pertinent to its prosperity than how we may learn from and be a part of the rise of China.

At the Centre for Policy Studies we believe that a global Britain is one that must engage with China, not least in terms of trade and investment. We are faced with a historical opportunity for China and Britain to dovetail our respective development strategies and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation on infrastructure, energy, finance, tech and more.

In light of this the Margaret Thatcher Conference on China and Britain conference gathered cabinet ministers, academics, business leaders and diplomats to explore what the future holds for our countries and to remind those in Britain of the opportunities and challenges that the rise of China presents. A welcome from Catherine McGuiness, Lord Saatchi and Mark Tucker framed the discussion. Keynote speeches from Martin Jacques, Dr Dambisa Moyo, Dr Andy Palmer, Gregory Hodkinson, Chen Lifang and Carrie Gracie gave a variety of nuanced perspectives on the crucial relationship between China and Britain, with a particularly valuable contribution coming from Minister Zhu Qin of the Chinese Embassy.

Panel discussions dissected key aspects of the “Golden Era” including the current state of UK-China relations: with Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Lord Powell, Lord Sassoon, Dr Keyu Jin – and Prof Steve Tsang – SOAS China Institute.

Experts from worldwide business including Dr Xiang Bing, Peter Budd, Sir Gerry Grimstone, Sherry Madera and Sun Yu examined the challenges and opportunities that come with doing business in China, and the final panel investigated the prospects for the future of technology and innovation across the two countries, contributing to this with expertise were Professor Niall Ferguson, Andrew Ratcliffe, Ray Bingham and Dr Huiyao Wang.

The conference was well attended from across many sectors and served as an excellent investigation into the relationship between these two nations, at a time when international politics is in a state of flux.


Transcripts of the entire conference programme are available to download and run alongside the videos in the above playlist.

Part One: Opening comments from Robert Colvile, Catherine McGuinness, Lord Saatchi, and Mark Tucker, and keynote speeches from Martin Jacques and Dr Dambisa Moyo

Part Two: Panel One: The Big Picture – The Current State of UK-China relations

Part Three: Keynote speeches from Minister Zhu Qin and Dr Andy Palmer

Part Four: Keynote speech from Rt. Hon. Mark Field MP and Panel Two: Doing Business in China

Part Five: Keynote speeches from Gregory Hodkinson and Chen Lifang, and Panel Three: Technology and Innovation

Part Six: Keynote speech from Carrie Gracie and closing comments from Lord Saatchi


Dr Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade, delivered a speech at the private dinner following the conference, a transcript of which is available here.