The biggest Chinese New Year party outside Asia held to ring in the Year of the Fire Monkey took place in London on February 14, involving some 700,000 participants and presided over by the Monkey King and the God of Wealth.
The celebration, which spread from Trafalgar Square all the way to Chinatown, rounded off a year of evercloser ties between the UK and the People’s Republic. Deputy Minister Tan Tianxing from the State Office for Overseas Chinese Affairs attended the celebrations with Chinese and British dignitaries in London’s Trafalgar Square. A considerable number of non-Chinese also joined in the festivities.
In a pre-recorded Chinese New Year greeting, Prime Minister David Cameron spoke of “the bond between our countries shining brightly” and said President Xi Jinping’s recent state visit to the UK heralded a “golden era in our countries’ relationship.”
Cameron also made reference to agreements struck during Xi’s visit. Almost £40 billion worth of commercial deals were hashed out, and the new visitor visa pilot scheme for Chinese nationals is expected to make Britain a compelling destination and bring in even more inbound visitors than the record 214,000 who arrived between January and September 2015.