China-Britain ties flourishing: ambassador

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, January 8, 2011
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China-Britain relations are flourishing, which not only conforms to the fundamental interests of the two peoples, but also is conducive to world peace and development, says Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming.

In a recent joint interview with London-based Chinese media prior to Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang's official visit to Britain on Jan. 9-12, Liu said Li was expected to meet British Prime Minister David Cameron and other leaders to exchange views on the comprehensive development of Sino-British relations.

Liu said Li would also meet with British financial and business figures, young students and scholars, and visit a science and technology innovation park.

He said Li's visit would be the first for a Chinese leader since the British coalition government took office and the first high-level exchange between the two countries in 2011.

Liu reviewed the development of Sino-British relations during the past year, which he said had kept "a good momentum."

The new British government has continued to pursue a positive China policy, and Sino-British relations have achieved a smooth transition and sustainable development, Liu said.

He added that China and Britain have maintained close high-level contacts and deepened their strategic mutual trust.

In November, Cameron led the largest-ever delegation to China, and leaders of both countries reached important consensus on further enhancing political mutual trust, and promoting cooperation in various fields.

In addition, economic and trade cooperation between Britain and China was booming, the Chinese ambassador said. Bilateral trade volume in goods reached 40.2 billion U.S. dollars between January and October, an increase of 30 percent on the same period in 2009 and also a record high for the same period.

The two sides also made great progress in trade and services, Liu said. During Cameron's visit to China, leaders of the two nations set a target to raise annual bilateral trade volume to over 100 billion dollars within the next five years. In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the number of British projects absorbing Chinese investment ranks sixth globally, while the number of Chinese companies investing in London ranks the second.

Moreover, China and Britain had closer cultural exchanges, Liu said, adding that the Shanghai Expo was a highlight of bilateral cooperation with the British Pavilion attracting more than 8 million Chinese visitors.

The number of Chinese students studying in Britain ranks first in Europe and is substantially increasing. "Mandarin fever" in Britain also continues to heat up, he said.

Britain was attracting more and more Chinese tourists, with the number of visitors from the Chinese mainland increasing by 80 percent in January to October, he said, predicting that the number for the whole year would break the 200,000 mark.

With Sino-British relations currently at a new starting point, the Chinese ambassador called on both sides to seize the opportunity to deepen their cooperation and exchanges in various fields from a global and strategic perspective.

On the development of bilateral ties in the new year, Liu said China and Britain should continue to promote high-level exchanges and maintain close communications and coordination between the leaders of the two nations in order to provide strong political support and policy guidance for bilateral ties.

China and Britain should also deepen their economic and financial dialogue as well as strategic dialogue mechanisms to promote understanding and mutual trust and reach consensus, he said.

Secondly, the two nations should tap the potential in bilateral economic and trade cooperation, Liu said, noting that the two economies were highly complementary to each other with broad prospects for bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

The two sides should further expand their cooperation scale, broaden and extend areas of cooperation, and cultivate new growth points, Liu said.

Thirdly, both sides should strengthen communication and coordination on macroeconomic policies, share experiences in state administration as well as economic and social issues, he said.

China and Britain should enhance cultural cooperation and exchanges among young people, and promote communication and coordination in international affairs to safeguard common interests and promote global peace and development, he said.

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