The 1st of 3 new appointments Rza Aliyev joins UKNCC as Senior Project Lead for our Climate Change and Sustainability work. Rza is a policy development and implementation manager at bp plc, working on strategy and sustainability matters. Previously, Rza worked in diplomacy, wealth management and co-founded an international organization. Rza holds BA in Public Administration, MA in Diplomacy and International Relations, as well as was selected as an inaugural member of the Schwarzman Scholars Program, where he pursued his second master’s degree in Global Affairs from Tsinghua University. Rza serves on the Junior Board of World Monuments Fund and is OneYoungWorld ambassador. Rza has lived in 10 countries and speaks fluently in 5 languages.
The UKNCC is the product of discussions with over one hundred UK politicians, business people and leaders of civil society, who collectively see the need for a fuller debate on China in the UK. Since we began those discussions, in spring 2020, we have:
Led by a group of British volunteers with significant experience of engagement with China our team work on a pro-bono basis.
Twitter - @UkCommittee
The UKNCC is designed to help people of the UK make clear sighted decisions on their engagement with China. In an era of an exponential rise of misinformation and uninformed debate, our aim is to differentiate 'the noise' from robust, evidenced and well constructed information. We highlight high quality commentary and research and support those who are already, or could become Britain's leading talents on China.
The current debate on China in the UK is too often dominated by 'hawks' and 'apologists'. This can lead to over simplification and poor decision making.
The UKNCC seeks to promote a broader, nuanced debate without entertaining extreme views or perpetuating false silos. China's role in issues of security, climate change, global health, trade and investment and human rights are interconnected concerns affecting government, business and civil society alike. It is only by bringing together and debating the plurality of views from across UK interests that we can determine how best to engage.
To stay informed on the UKNCC follow us on Twitter @UkCommittee.
Frank Slevin, Chairman
Our vision is for a self-reliant UK, where decisions on our political, economic and cultural engagement with China are made through sophisticated, balanced debate drawing on robust research and commentary.
We promote understanding through research, debate and education across the UK’s nations and regions. We support those who are already, or could become, Britain’s leading talents on China.
We deliver impact by behaving, at all times, as a system builder. Our mission is best served by working with individuals and organisations who share our interest in the future of UK China relations.
Our goal is to drive curiosity and stimulate questioning in government, business and civil society, in order to help people across all of the UK answer the question of how to best understand and engage with China.
Our strategy is to build a trusted non-profit that assesses the rigour of commentary and research on China; convenes discussions at the regional and national level; and funds individuals and organisations doing great work on UK China issues.
As a non-profit organisation, we are flexible, open, questioning and relentless in the pursuit of improving understanding. We value rigour; independence; transparency and engagement.
"Well informed debate and discussion on China related affairs is crucial for good decision making. In recent years China has fast become one of Britain’s most important bilateral relationships, as well as one of the largest geo-political challenges on the world stage today.
We need our politicians, business leaders and influencers in civil society to be as well informed on China as possible."
Sir Malcolm Rifkind, UKNCC Advisory Board Member
The UKNCC Advisory Board comprises citizens from UK business, political and civic life. The Advisory Board’s role is to provide insight and guidance in supporting the goals of the UKNCC. It also advises on existing and proposed activities of the UKNCC and Members may, on occasion, act as external ambassadors.
The Advisory Board holds decision making authority over which sources of funding the UKNCC may accept in order to ensure the UKNCC protects its independence.
Members serve as individual citizens and in no way represent any organisation, company or political party with which they may be otherwise associated. The composition of the Advisory Board reflects a wide range of perspectives in the UK on China to ensure that the UKNCC is informed by a plurality of views. Advisory Board membership is not remunerated and members serve entirely on a volunteer basis. Terms of Reference for the Advisory Board can be viewed and downloaded at the bottom of this page.
If you would like to contact any of our Advisory Board members in connection to the work of the UKNCC please email:
Chairman, UKNCC Advisory Board
Former Cabinet minister under Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major, including; Secretary of State for Scotland; Defence Secretary; and Foreign Secretary.
Vice-Chair, UKNCC Advisory Board
Scottish Government International Trade Envoy for Higher Eduction.
Member of the British Council Higher Education Group.
Businessman and philanthropist.
Former Chairman of Lloyds TSB Bank.
Chairman of several charitable organisations.
Huawei Technologies (UK).
Chair of the Audit and Risk Committees Huawei Technologies (UK).
Former CEO of UK Trade and Investment at the UK Government.
Chairman, National Advisory Board for the Performing Arts.
Former strategy advisor to, inter alia, TPG Group, Barclays and The Ditchley Foundation.
Trustee of several not-for-profit arts organisations.
College President of UWC South East Asia.
Former Regional Director, China,
Former Minister (Culture and Education) at the British Embassy to China.
Former Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Chairman of CIB Limited, a subsidiary of Capital International Group.
Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Founders Forum and firstminute capital.
Co-Chair, Prime Minister’s Business Sector. Council for Small Business, Scale-ups and Entrepreneurs.
President and Chief Executive Officer,
Europe & CIS.
Former President CEO of BBDO (China).
Co-founder of the Eden Project.Executive Vice Chair of Eden Project Ltd.Executive Chairman of Eden Project International Ltd.
Founder and CEO of crayfish.io
Co-Vice-Chair, UK-China Tech Forum
Entrepreneur in hospitality, property and education.Former President, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
Our executive team serve in an individual capacity and in no way represent any organisation, company or political party with which they may be otherwise associated.
Frank Slevin (Chair)
Frank is a seasoned chairman and board advisor. During his career he has worked as a banker in regional and global roles and has extensive experience in the Far East and the Americas. Frank lived in Hong Kong for 17 years working at the forefront of the emergence of Chinese companies onto the international stage from the 1990’s. He has operated as adviser on foreign investment into China and Chinese investment overseas. Formerly, he was Chairman of House of Fraser and Hamleys, where he navigated culturally contrasting ownership and managerial styles. He currently chairs British Cycling and the Royal Society for Asian Affairs.
Ollie Shiell (Chief Executive)
Ollie founded Asiability, a UK advisory firm, in 2015. Prior to that, he was founding executive of Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) in Europe in 2011. Board experience includes London Symphony Orchestra, Social Bite and China-Britain Business Council. Ollie serves as China Ambassador for the Ditchley Foundation, a non profit working to renew how liberal democracies can lead and find constructive ways to engage with nations of different world views. He has delivered executive education programmes at Cambridge University, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business and IMD. A graduate of the RNCM, he speaks Mandarin Chinese.
Andrew Cainey (Director)
Andrew is co-founder of Asiability and has over 20 years’ experience advising companies and governments on China. Previous positions include Managing Partner of Booz & Company’s Greater China operations, Partner-in-charge for Asian Government Advisory with Tony Blair Associates and Partner leading the Asia-Pacific Financial Institutions Practice of Boston Consulting Group. He is a Senior Associate Fellow at RUSI and a non executive director of Schroder Asian Total Return Investment Company PLC. A graduate of Harvard Business School and Cambridge University he speaks French, German, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.
Charlie Du Cane (Associate Director)
Charlie has spent 15 years in the shipping industry largely working in and with China, where he lived from 2007 to 2020. His career has focused on selling shipping services to Chinese companies, as well as manging the onshore presence of various international maritime groups in China. He is now working in London helping build a UK based ship-owning business. He is also an angel investor and has been active in the non-profit sector in China. He is a regular contributor to various professional and current affairs publications on politics, business and China.
David Percival MBE (Director)
David is Chairman of the Manchester-China Forum. He spent over 10 years in China both as a UK diplomat and in the private sector. He has been directly involved in over $7 billion in deal flow from China to UK across several sectors: including education, real estate, infrastructure and M&A. Between 2008-12, David was Director of the UK Governments Investment Network across China and Senior British Commercial Consul, overseeing UK Government relations with over 400 Chinese companies and advising UK Prime Minister and Chancellor. David was Vice-Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce, Shanghai for 6 years. In 2011, David was made a Member of the British Empire for his role as the UK's Commercial Director to Shanghai World Expo 2010.
Rza Aliyev (Senior Project Lead, Climate Change and Sustainability)
Rza is a policy development and implementation manager in bp, working on strategy and sustainability matters. Previously, Rza has worked in diplomacy, wealth management and co-founded an international organization. Rza holds BA in Public Administration, MA in Diplomacy and International Relations, as well as was selected as an inaugural member of the Schwarzman Scholars Program, where he pursued his second master’s degree in Global Affairs from Tsinghua University. Rza serves on the Junior Board of World Monuments Fund and is OneYoungWorld ambassador. Rza lived in 10 countries and speaks fluently in 5 languages
If you have any questions or suggestions or are interested in joining our growing team of volunteers, please contact us.