British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday praised China's fast-growing economy for helping British businesses, saying, "I want to step up our relationship with China as it opens up its markets, spreads its prosperity and embraces free trade."
The British leader made the statement in her signed article published in the Financial Times, a major British newspaper, on the day when she kicked off her first visit to China since she took office in 2016.
"As China opens up to the world, its fast-growing economy is already helping British businesses," she said in the article entitled "The global trading system works when we all play by the rules".
"It is creating new markets for a vast range of products, from milk to motorcycles to the latest innovative technology," she wrote.
"It is turning the spotlight on new partners that British innovators can work with to develop ideas and bring them to market," May said. "And it is delivering a new source of capital that -- with the appropriate safeguards in place -- can help us to invest in the future of our country."
"Together, that means a stronger British economy and more and better jobs for British workers," she said.
"The sheer economic weight of China means that the way in which this happens will have a huge role in shaping the future of the world in which we live," she said. "I want that future to work for Britain."
"The UK and China will not always see eye-to-eye," she said. "But as partners committed to global free trade we can work together to confront and tackle challenges that affect all of our economies."