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A Glimpse into the Chinese Culture Lights up the "Silver Landscape" in London--Remarks by Madam Hu Pinghua at the "Silver Sunday" Chinese Culture Trip at the Chinese Embassy
( Chinese Embassy, 18 October 2019 )

Distinguished Guests,

Dear Friends:

Good morning!

Welcome to the Chinese Embassy. It is a real delight to work with "Silver Sunday" to organize today's Chinese culture event. Thank you for joining us.

A famous line from a Chinese poem lauded old age as the "sublime sun at dusk." Similarly, people in the West extolled that "gray hair is a crown of splendor".

Time has given elderly people the wisdom of life and a broad mind but never diminishes their passion and vigour. Today's Silver Sunday event will not only take us on a journey into the Chinese culture but also highlight the following three messages:

First, it reminds us of the responsibility of taking good care of the elderly.

By the end of 2018, the number of over-60s in China had reached 249 million, accounting for 17.9% of the entire population. Taking good care of them is regarded as an important part of coordinated development and social harmony. A number of laws and policies have been adopted in the areas of social security, daily services, health care, leisure and education, and protection of rights and interests of the elder people as well as old-age related industrial development.

The UK also pays great attention to the elderly. During the State Opening of Parliament earlier this week, Her Majesty The Queen said, "My Government will bring forward proposals to reform adult social care in England to ensure dignity in old age."

Both China and the UK have taken active and comprehensive measures to address the needs of old age, so that the elderly could have more participation in social activities and higher sense of achievement and happiness.

Second, today's event encourages more people to love the elderly.

China is known for the long-standing tradition of respecting, assisting and taking good care of the elderly. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to enriching the spiritual and cultural life of the elderly.

--In middle-sized and big cities in China, there are comprehensive community centres, choirs and art troupes for the elderly.

--There are tailor-made TV programmes, newspapers and magazines for the elderly.

--There is at least one university for the elderly in every county and city.

--The Government has also joined hands with mental health and social care institutions to pilot mental health service projects for the elderly, so that the elderly could feel that they are cared for and loved.

I am glad to learn that thanks to the kindness of the public, "Silver Sunday" has hosted thousands of cultural events in the past seven years since its launch. It has encouraged more and more elderly people to come out of their homes, take part in social events, make new friends and lead a healthy life. It has also helped draw attention to the problem of loneliness among the elderly. We at the Chinese Embassy are deeply touched by this sense of responsibility and show of love for the elderly.

Third, today's event builds a bridge of communication.

Having lived in the UK for more than nine years, I know very well the importance of enhancing understanding, deepening mutual trust and cementing friendship between our peoples, which, I hope today's event will help achieve.

At today's event, we will arrange displays of two forms of Chinese culture, the Tai Chi Fan and Chinese calligraphy. Deeply rooted in the time-honoured history and profound culture of China, these two activities could help cultivate the mind and keep fit. Moreover, they are highly entertaining, and thus are popular among the middle-aged and elderly people in China. I hope you will enjoy these activities.

In conclusion, I wish you a pleasant time at the Chinese Embassy. I wish you happier and more beautiful days ahead.

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