Ambassador Liu Xiaoming (Credit: The Telegraph)
On 9th May, 2017, The Telegraph“Business of Sport 2017” was held in London. On the morning of the first day, 9th May, a presentation entitled “Deepening China-UK Sport Cooperation for A Better World” was delivered. Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese ambassador to the United Kingdom, was the keynote speaker.
At the presentation, Liu explained the reason why China intended to partner with the UK in the sports industry. “The UK is a leader in sports and in the sports industry, not only because of their traditional history, but also because of their experience. It is cutting-edge. So, we intend to form a partnership with the UK in the sports industry,.” added Liu.
In Liu’s opinion, there are a lot of opportunities between China and the UK in the sports industry. Although there have been many advances, the Chinese sports industry still has a long way to go. Aspects such as sports management, sports events, the chain of the sports products, market developing and many more are still new things in China. As a result, China is seeking cooperation with the UK in areas where China is not that strong.
After the presentation, a jounalist asked a question about the Chinese investment in European football clubs. Liu admitted that Chinese investment had indeed been booming in the past 5 years. As for the future, he believed that there would be more Chinese owners of overseas football clubs. “But the purpose is not only to buy the clubs, but also to learn the culture and to have more integration with the British sports. For China and its sports industry, I believe there is a golden opportunity for Chinese sport to engage with the world,” said Liu.
When he was asked about the 2030 FIFA World Cup, Liu stated it was always a dream for Chinese people. “Chinese people have three dreams for football,” he said. “The first one is to be the champions of Asia. The second dream is to host the World Cup. Maybe not in 2030, but looking down the road, we hope some day that China can host the World. The third dream is to be the champions of the World Cup.” As for when China can be world champions, Liu did not give any prediction but expressed his hope to see it in his lifetime.
In the conversations with the audience, Liu Xiaoming also mentioned the Chinese Super League and its management status, as well as the Healthy China 2030 Initiave. “There is great potential for China and the UK to collaborate in many areas of the sports industry,” said Liu.
Proofread by Sean O Diobhilin