China-Britain partnership goes beyond trade ties

Updated 2018-01-31 00:09:02 Xinhua

While some media reports have set the tune for British Prime Minister Theresa May's visit to China as one to secure post-Brexit trade, they seem to ignore the facts that a stronger China-Britain relationship means more than just trade.

As early as 2015, the two countries have recognized the global significance and strategic importance of their relations. In October that year, the two sides sealed global partnership with a joint declaration on building a global comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st century.

Last month, 72 policy outcomes were reached during the ninth China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) in Beijing, ranging from bilateral trade to nuclear power to securities and bond trading links, which have shored up the golden era of the Sino-British ties.

The China-Britain global partnership is built on a solid common ground. Both nations commit to build an open world economy, support the multilateral trading system and combat climate change through respective actions and bilateral cooperation.

The key to a real global partnership lies in mutual respect and support. China and Britain have been fully aware of their differences in political and economic systems and want mutually beneficial cooperation rather than old-fashioned confrontation.

A few facts showcase their mutual support: Britain is the first western country to issue RMB sovereign bonds and the first major western country to apply for full membership of the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

The landmark Hinkley Point C nuclear project, with one third of investment from a Chinese company, has been described by local media as "Britain's first new nuclear power station in a generation."

The engine of a dynamic global partnership is shared interests. China and Britain both face the tasks of reform, growth and innovation and are uniquely matched to cooperate on economic development.

Both sides have a strong interest in cooperating in each other's major initiatives. China and Britain are proposing a bilateral investment fund with the first round of 1 billion U.S. dollars to support the Belt and Road Initiative.

A global partnership also means common responsibilities. As countries of global influence and permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Britain shoulder important responsibilities for the international system and global stability.

May, who came to China in September 2016 for the G20 summit, will be accompanied by the leaders of 50 British business and commercial organizations during her official visit this time, said media reports.

Although trade and investment will be on top of May's agenda in this trip, the depth of China-Britain relationship means that there will be more topics for the two partners to discuss, whether bilateral, regional or international.

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