Mark Pawsey has returned to the UK after attending a parliamentary delegation in China, in a bid to build stronger links between the two countries.
The visit saw Mark and his parliamentary colleagues go to Chengdu and Kunming, two rapidly growing cities at the forefront of Chinese development.
The delegation focused on a wide variety of areas which link China and the UK, including environmental matters, education and economic co-operation.
Mark also had the opportunity to meet with Chengdu Shishi High School, the British designed Chengdu Museum and representatives of many businesses and trade bodies in China.
He said: “China is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and a major trading partner for the UK. It is vital that we continue to build on our strong links with the Chinese, both through trade and through our growing cultural ties.
“One example of UK influence in China was at our visit to Chengdu Shishi High School, where I was shown round by one of their students who is studying for her A-Levels. What was most interesting was the role of the UK through the International GSCE and A-Level qualifications as 240 schools in China offer these qualifications.”
He added: “The delegation was very encouraging and demonstrated that the UK and China have many common interests, as well as shared challenges. This includes the necessity of balancing economic growth with environmental protections to ensure that our cultural and natural heritage is preserved whilst still delivering the development we need to secure our future.
“These are challenges which span international borders, and I know that by working with our colleagues in government and industry in China, and elsewhere, we will be able to overcome them.”