UK election won't affect China relations

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As Britons began voting Thursday in their parliamentary election, Chinese experts said that regardless of which party rules next, China-Britain relations will barely be affected.

Reuters said David Cameron's Conservatives, who have been leading in the most recent polls, are battling hard to clinch a plurality of seats in parliament to form a majority government.

Even the slimmest of majorities would be a better result for the Conservatives than a hung parliament, ensuring that their leader would replace the Labour Party's Gordon Brown as prime minister on Friday, according to Reuters.

AP predicted that should Gordon Brown win, his Labour Party will have pulled off one of the most unlikely political comebacks in modern times.

But victory for the Conservatives' would return David Cameron's once-discredited party to office after 13 years, said AP.

What's more likely is that there will be no clear winner, but an unprecedented boost for the Liberal Democrats and their leader Nick Clegg.

Zhang Qizuo, vice-principle of Chengdu University, said: "All three parties will pay more attention to enhancing political, economic and trade ties with both China and the US because they all wish to gain economic interests from Beijing and Washington."

"The newly-elected British government will not be keen to participate in the EU or Euro-zone economic affairs because the majority of EU countries have lots of cumbersome financial difficulties," Zhang said.

During UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband's visit to China in March, the two countries inaugurated their first higher-level strategic dialogue, with Miliband saying the two nations would increase cooperation in tackling climate change and in the economic and security sectors, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Ding Chun, a professor of European studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said the increasingly strengthening ties between China and the UK and the core interests they share will not be harmed by competition between the parties, who may throw words at China during an election campaign.

In April, Cameron said in a debate with the other two party leaders that the UK should always have the ultimate protection of its nuclear deterrent, saying "when we don't know what is going to happen with Iran, we can't be certain of the future in China."

Later, Miliband accused the Tories of trying to wreck Britain's 60-year relationship with China, claiming Cameron's comment was a 'slur' which should be immediately withdrawn.

"Public opinion in the UK towards China is generally positive," Ding added, noting that the unprecedented eight Chinese candidates running in constituencies across the UK will help improve China's image overseas.

There has never been an MP of Chinese origin in the UK Parliament and only a few have been elected as councilors.

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