Happy 16th Birthday to Chinese Liberal Democrats!

September 17, 2022 2:21 PM
Originally published by Chinese Liberal Democrats

Some of you may well remember the launch of CLDs during Autumn Conference in Brighton in 2006 during the leadership of Sir Menzies Campbell MP and attended by Baroness Sarah Ludford, Norman Lamb MP, Sir Graham Watson MEP (see pic below) and many others. Linda Chung was our first Chair, and Sam Li and Paul Bensilum, Vice-Chairs.

It was and still is our aim and purpose (amongst others) to:
- Identify the needs and aspirations of the Chinese, E and SE Asians living in the United Kingdom
- Campaign and organise literature on behalf of the Party that more effectively reaches these minority groups and
- encourage more members from these minority groups to become politically engaged and to stand for public office.

Below are some of the highlights and activities over the years:

2007 - Anna Lo was elected to Stormont in NI, representing our sister party, Alliance Party.

2008 - CLDs took part in the Dragon Boat Race at Albert Docks racing as the Democracy Dragons. Linda Chung was elected as Councillor in a by-election in Hampstead, Camden.

2009 - CLD supported Citizens UK in the Strangers to Citizens campaign and worked with BC Project to encourage British Chinese to register to vote.

2010 - CLD fielded 4 Parliamentary Candidates in General Elections: Merlene Emerson in Hammersmith, Philip Ling in Bromsgrove, Alex Payton in Havant and Allan Witherick in Broxbourne.

2011 - CLD's Cllr Helen Chuah made history as 1st female Mayor of Chinese descent in the UK in Colchester.

2012 - CLDs worked with Schools Minister Sarah Teather MP on surveys on the take up of Free School Meals.

2013 - CLD published "UK China Twinned Cities", research commissioned by CLD, authored by Carl Carlstedt and Chris Georgiou.

2014 -CLD fielded 5 candidates in the local elections, whilst Cllr Sam Li was inaugurated as Deputy Mayor in Lewes.

2015 - Former CLD Chair Cllr Tatyan Cheung was elected to New Mills ward in Cotswolds.

2016 - Co Chairs Dr Yee Wah Foo and Jerry Cheung begin a new term on CLD executive. Dr Foo presented on BBC radio her research into her late grandfather Fu Bing Chang's diaries, covering his time as the Chinese ambassador in Moscow from 1943 to 1949.

2017 - CLD co-hosted a Chinese New Year banquet at the National Liberal Club with Prof Kerry Brown as guest speaker attended by over 100 guests and with a lion dance by Imperial College students. That year, Jonathan Fryer was guest speaker the AGM on the implications of Brexit on UK China relations and CLD held our first joint forum with LibDems in Business entitled "Beyond Brexit" at the NLC.

2018 - CLD fielded 5 candidates in the local elections: Larry Ngan in Brent, Linda Chung in Hampstead, Camden, Merlene Emerson in Barnes, Richmond, Marguerita Morton in Tunbridge Wells and Sarah Cheung Johnson in Longstanton, South Cambridgshire. CLD co-hosted forum with LIBG on "China in Africa - Who Benefits " at the NLC.

2019 - The Motion "Eradicating Racial Inequalities" passed at Spring Conference, proposed by Merlene Emerson, Chair of the Race Equality Policy Working Group. Cllr Marguerita Morton won a landslide victory at local elections in St John's Ward, Tunbridge Wells, Cllr Gary Wong was elected as new District Councillor in North Petherton in Somerset while Cllr Helen Chuah won a seat in St Ann's ward in Colchester. Larry Ngan was Brexit spokesperson for CLDs and campaigner for HKers.

2020 - CLD hosted first webinar with Paddy Ashdown Forum on Covid19 and Racism with Linda Chung and George Lee as speakers. That year saw the appointment of Sir Ed Davey MP as Patron (in place of the late Paddy Ashdown).

2021 - CLD took part in Stop Asian Hate Rallies in London (represented by Victoria Collins and Linda Chung), and in Birmingham (by Dr Yeow Poon).
CLD launched book of essays "Rise of China - Fresh Insights and Observations" published by Paddy Ashdown Forum with a debate at National Liberal Club hosted by the European Liberal Forum.

At the AGM that year, CLD elected a new executive team helmed by a new Chair, Cllr Sarah Cheung Johnson. Dr Yeow Poon was elected as first Hon President, and the CLD team included Amanda Jeyaretnam as Membership Development officer, Emma YuLian Ng, Emma Knuckey, as well as Robert Kim and Anh Dao Carrick from Korean and Vietnamese communities.

2022 - More victories! Our 1st Scottish Councillor, Yi-Pei Chou Turvey was elected in Aberdeenshire plus 2 Councillors of Korean descent to Kingston Council, Cllr Robert Kim (New Malden) and Elizabeth Park (Old Malden). Linda Chung was elected to Hampstead Town, Camden Council in a byelection landslide.

Please support and join us so that we can continue our good work as an Affiliated Organisation of the Party. We welcome ideas, suggestions as well as criticisms - please feel free to email us at info@chineselibdems.org.uk

Caption: Visit to Parliament with members of the Chinese communities sponsored by Baroness Susan Kramer and Sir Simon Hughes (centre in white, Anna Lo from NI).