Mon, Oct 19, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Cameron sees ‘golden era’ in bilateral ties with China

Reuters, LONDON

Trade and investment between China and Britain can benefit further from a “golden era” in their bilateral relations, British Prime Minister David Cameron said ahead of a state visit to London by Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).

Cameron was echoing remarks by Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming (劉曉明), who said Xi’s visit from today through Friday would mark the dawn of a “golden time” in bilateral ties.

“It’s going to be a very important moment for British-Chinese relations, which are in a very good state, something of a golden era in our relationship,” Cameron told China Central Television. “The change we will see is obviously the investment into our infrastructure, Chinese companies employing people and creating jobs. But I think it’s also a big win for China as well, having access to a country that is a leading member of the EU and has so many other contacts and roles in the world.”

Diplomats say Beijing is concerned about the implications of Britain, a strong advocate of free trade, exiting the EU and about any weakening of a bloc it views as a vital global counterbalance to the US.

The British government has moved forcefully to strengthen financial ties with Beijing. Earlier this year, it broke ranks with the US, its close ally, by signing up as a founding member of China’s new infrastructure investment bank.

Cameron shrugged off concerns about the current slowing of Chinese economic growth.

“Obviously there are issues at the moment that are being addressed in China and I think the growth will continue,” he said.

Analysts caution there may be little concrete behind the warm words during Xi’s visit, with final deals on nuclear energy projects and high-speed rail links in Britain a long way off.

However, Xi’s visit could include an announcement that Beijing will issue government debt in yuan in London, making it the first financial center outside China to offer its sovereign debt, the Financial Times reported.

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