UK welcomes closer links with China

By Ai Yang
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, September 16, 2010
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The United Kingdom welcomes more investment from Chinese companies, and the new coalition government would like to see closer ties with China, a visiting UK official said on Wednesday.

UK Foreign Office Minister of State Jeremy Browne made the comments at a press briefing here. While stressing Britain's strong commitment to open markets and free trade, the 40-year-old said he hopes British businesses will similarly be given more opportunities in China.

Browne said it was his first trip to Beijing and his second time in the country. In addition, "I'm keen to be a frequent visitor to other parts of China," he said.

The minister also expressed concerns about the well being of Britons who choose to live, study and do business in China.

Before arriving in Beijing, Browne attended the Law and Justice Week at the Shanghai Expo as part of the UK pavilion's programs. "Legal reform in China matters to us, as more British companies do business with China and more British citizens come to China to visit, study or live," he said.

Another purpose of Browne's visit was to learn from Beijing the Olympics experience ahead of the London Olympics in 2012.

Browne, however, demurred in the face of questions, based on an earlier report in London's Daily Mail tabloid, as to whether the actual Olympic medals for the 2012 games will be made in China, instead of by a traditional British company this time.

"I don't know whether the gold, or silver or bronze are being made (in China) this time," he said.

British companies have been awarded 97 per cent of the London's Olympic contracts. Regarding the remaining 3 percent, meanwhile, Browne said he welcomes more Chinese involvement.

China's cultural values will also be spotlighted in the year of the London Olympics, when China joins the London Book Fair in 2012 as the Market Focus Country of Honor.

Martin Davidson, the British Council Chief Executive, said that: "Many people in the UK would admit to knowing little about the lives and attitudes of the people of China.

"Collaboration in literature and publishing is a powerful way to learn about each other's values and culture," he added. "Improved understanding builds trust. And trust underpins greater cooperation, improved partnerships, and stronger trade."

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