Welcome everybody to this very exciting occasion! It is always a pleasure to be asked to support, and promote, UK-China education links. Today's announcement, of a new scholarship scheme of this scale and scope, is such fantastic news, and something well worth celebrating. This flagship scholarship offers opportunities for individual students to shape their futures, by studying in the UK at a prestigious institution; it will build strong links between our academic communities; and it will of course also support stronger links between our two countries and between our peoples.
Developing stronger people to people links and the education relationship sit at the heart of the flourishing UK/China relationship. An entire generation of young Chinese are studying abroad, and many of them are choosing the UK for its quality and value. We would like even more of them to choose the UK, and we offer them a warm welcome. Our bilateral relationship is truly a knowledge economy partnership, one which is based on complementarity and mutuality, on greater knowledge of each other's countries and of the opportunities which working closely together brings.