George Pippas, mayor of the British city of Cambridge, on Wednesday hailed the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, saying he is looking forward to closer relations with China in efforts to boost economic development.
Speaking at a forum on the Belt and Road Initiative, Pippas said that his city government is studying how to deepen cooperation with China to further improve the role of British and Chinese talents in spurring economic advancement.
Cambridge is a city on the River Cam in eastern England, home to the prestigious University of Cambridge.
Organized by an association of Britain-based businesses from China's Sichuan Province, the forum kicked off at the University of Cambridge Wednesday with the theme of "Cooperation, Development and Win-Win" in a bid to promote partnerships for effective implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to enhance complementarity of development strategies and promote cooperation among the countries along the ancient Silk Road trade routes and beyond.
Noting that China has made rapid economic progress over the past decades, Pippas said Cambridge is ready to continue the efforts to promote the partnership of cooperation with China.
Barry Rider, a professor from the Center for Development Studies at Cambridge University, also took the floor at the two-day forum, saying that Britain shows great interest in cooperating with China in such fields as finance, trade and technology within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Rider also voiced his hope that Britain and China will further strengthen cooperation to explore the legal means for protecting the interests of businesses of the two countries.
Jin Xu, the minister counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Britain, told the forum that it is his sincere hope that British enterprises can seize the opportunities offered by the B&R initiative to increase cooperation with their Chinese counterparts.
The two-day forum has attracted businessmen, diplomats, politicians and scholars from countries including Britain, China, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, Sri Lanka and Uganda, according to its organizers.