Speeches, etc.

Margaret Thatcher

Speech welcoming Chinese Premier (Hua Guofeng)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: Heathrow Airport, West London
Source: Thatcher Archive: COI transcript
Editorial comments: 1630. A copy of the speaking text survives in THCR 1/17/56.
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 415
Themes: Foreign policy (Asia)

Prime Minister

I have great pleasure in greeting you on your arrival in Britain. This is a unique occasion, the first ever visit to Britain by a Premier of the Peoples Republic of China. Welcome.

China is a great and historic nation which has a crucial role to play in world affairs and we attach great importance to our bilateral relations with your country and have been very pleased by their rapid development and expansion over recent months. We now enjoy close understanding and cooperation in many fields and I am sure that your own visit will make a major contribution to the further improvement of this relationship.

I personally look forward very much to my discussions with you and I also hope that you will enjoy the opportunities you will have to meet a wide cross-section of the British people, to look at some examples of British industry and technology, and to see something of our British way of life and culture.

On behalf of the British Government I welcome you warmly and wish you a happy and successful visit.

Chairman Hua Guofeng

Prime Minister Thatcher, I am privileged to come to the United Kingdom on an official visit at your invitation. Thank [end p1] you for according us this warm and cordial welcome. I extend good wishes and greetings to the British Government and people on behalf of the Chinese Government and people.

Sino-British relations have developed smoothly with cooperation and exchanges broadening in every field. This visit of mine marks the first such exchanges between the Heads of our two Governments and it represents a new stage of closer ties between China and Britain.

The Chinese Government has maintained all along that Western Europe has an important role to play in defending world peace and it has given high priority to the development of good relations with the Western European countries. In the turbulent and volatile international situation which now prevails, the fundamental interests of the people of all countries are closely linked and I have come to visit Western Europe at this particular juncture.

I have had deep-going (sic) discussions and reached a wide measure of agreement with the Government Leaders of France and the Federal Republic of Germany. There is much common ground between China and Britain on a large number of major international issues. I am confident that my talks with Prime Minister Thatcher will yield positive results and that my visit will help to promote friendly cooperation between China and Britain and contribute to the cause of world peace. Thank you.