The Shing family of politicians were invited to China by the country’s Department of Overseas Affairs.
The unprecedented move saw politicians of Chinese descent, from across Europe and Africa, to participate in state conferences with officials In China.
They were Interested in the views of overseas Chinese, particularly regarding the change of leadership. Chinese officials were particularly interested in the expectations of overseas Chinese and were seeking suggestions as to how the Chinese government might improve its global relationships.
Steven, Daniel and Oi Lin Shing, who are all councillors, were delighted to make the trip to China for the conference and participated in a series of conferences in Beijing, Sichuan, Kang Ding, and at the Tibetan Buddhist Monastery at Tagong.
Daniel Shing said he was pleased to have made the trip with his parents and added, “I think it’s hugely positive that the Chinese government is taking a strong interest in the views of Chinese people living outside of China, especially regarding their expectations of the government.
It was quite humbling to explain our roles as councillors in Wealden and East Sussex to our counterparts in Europe and Africa and particularly to the Chinese government officials. They are aware that there are, as yet, no overseas Chinese elected as Members of Parliament in Europe, and that Stephen and I are the only two elected to county level within local authorities.”