Chinese premier Li Qiang has hailed the contribution of business leaders to bringing China and the UK closer together.
In a New Year message to the 48 Group Club, Li urged a new generation to follow the example of the organization's founders who were among the first to reach out from the UK to the People's Republic of China.
The message was read at a dinner by China's ambassador to the UK, Zheng Zeguang.
"In today's world, where economic recovery is weak and global challenges are increasing. China stands ready. We enhance coordination and deepen cooperation with the UK to jointly advance the common development of both countries and the world at large," Li wrote, according to Zheng's speech. The event was co-hosted by the UK China Business Council and the UK-China Chamber of Commerce and among other dignitaries the audience included Stephen Perry, son of Jack Perry who was one of the Icebreakers named for their activities during the Cold War.
Zheng added that while improving the quality of its development, China remained a leading contributor to global growth and was continuing to open up its markets.