The 48 Group Club held its Annual Icebreaker Awards on the 22nd October at the Chinese Embassy in London.
This was, as usual, kindly hosted by the Chinese Ambassador and generously sponsored by Cathay Pacific Airways and Standard Chartered Bank. A packed audience heard Ambassador Liu Xiaoming give a friendly and upbeat speech about breaking and melting the ice – very appropriate to a Group whose forbears had sent an Icebreaker mission to China in 1953. He said that, on this 60th anniversary of that visit, the ice was already broken, what was required now in UK-China relations was to keep melting the ice in order to increase the interaction between the UK and China.
The Ambassador then presided, handing certificates to those who had been selected to receive Fellowship and Honorary Membership Awards.
48 Group Club Fellows:
Sir Tony Baldry MP
Prof Sir James Drummond Bone
Admiral Lord Boyce
Prof Sir Malcolm Grant
Lord David Howell
Prof Peter Nolan
Marquis of Salisbury
Sir Martin Sorrell
48 Group Honorary Members
Mr. Stephen Perry, Chairman of the Club, said that he took to heart the words of the Ambassador in his very constructive speech. Mr. Perry had recently been told that the world divided into two types of people, where China was concerned: Panda Huggers and Cold War Warriors. He did not recognise the Club as falling into either of these categories but felt that the Club’s role was to help individuals to better understand China through a process of dialogue and closer engagement.
The evening was rounded off with the opportunity for members, friends and staff of the Embassy to chat informally over a Chinese buffet.