China Task Force
The China Task Force was set up at the request of the then Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2003 and was originally headed by the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott. The Task Force was originally asked to look at four areas: Science and Technology; Trade and Investment; Education; and Sustainable Development/Environment. In 2005 its remit was expanded to include Culture and Health and Development issues, and new members were recruited to add expertise in these areas. Since August 2007 the Task Force has been chaired by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling.
The Task Force works to deepen relations, foster mutual understanding, and further co-operation between the UK and China and its formal remit covers seven themes:
- Science and technology
- Trade and investment
- Sustainable Development and Climate Change
- International Development
The Task Force acts as a high-level advisory body for the Government, meeting periodically to advise on the Government's priorities and objectives, for example before Summits, important Ministerial meetings, overall strategy discussions and as a sounding board for bilateral dialogues.
Senior leaders of the Chinese government have made clear that the Task Force continues to enjoy a very high status in China and is seen as an effective mechanism for developing our bilateral relations.
Together with its Chinese counterpart- the UK Task Force - the China Task Force continues to symbolise a shared commitment to furthering bilateral relations, and has created a favourable context for the promotion of UK business and other interests.
Members include business leaders, senior academics and politicians with an interest in China, and meetings are held two to three times a year. In addition, much of the work of the Task Force is carried out through sub-groups and correspondence. The membership of the Task Force is currently under review.