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'Bright future' beckons as Liu Yandong arrives in UK for high-level talks

By Du Xiaoying in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-12-05 01:05

Vice-Premier Liu Yandong has kicked off an official visit to the United Kingdom that will last from Monday until Thursday and take her to the cities of London, Edinburgh, and Oxford.

Liu will co-chair the fifth-annual UK-China High-Level People-to-People Dialogue – the highest level Sino-UK dialogue to be held in the UK this year. Jeremy Hunt, Britain's secretary of state for health, will also co-chair the event.

While in the UK, Liu will meet with a number of senior figures, including UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, and Princess Anne and Prince Andrew at Buckingham Palace.

"The UK-China relationship is strong and continues to deliver benefits for both countries, so I am delighted to welcome Madame Liu to the UK for the People-to-People Dialogue," said Johnson.

Hunt said: "I am delighted to once again co-chair the People-to-People Dialogue, which will reaffirm the strong ties between the UK and China and underline our commitment to working together to solve some of the biggest issues facing the world today."

While on the visit, Liu will witness the launch of the UK-China Joint Science and Innovation Strategy, participate in a forum of CEOs involved in the creative industries, and join a roundtable of young leaders, including young parliamentarians.

The meeting, which is also known as the P2P Dialogue, will cover 10 policy strands. The subjects that will be talked about are: health, education, culture and creative industries, science and innovation, tourism, sport, issues affecting young people, regional cooperation, issues impacting women, and social equity.

This year's P2P theme is the "Spirit of Youth", which connects to a UK government campaign that aims to inspire the next generation of leaders in China and the UK and the promotion of deeper collaboration and exchange.

At the meetings, ministers are expected to agree upon a range of initiatives, including a new joint UK-China health agreement that will advance work to tackle a number of healthcare challenges. The initiatives will also further collaboration on female leadership and empowerment, and strengthen existing collaboration between higher education institutions.

"I think the future for the UK-China relationship is very exciting and we've already established a 'golden era' in UK-China relations," said Barbara Woodward, the UK's ambassador to China ahead of Liu's visit. "I think we'll see a deepening and broadening of our overlapping interests with China, and opportunities for building a very bright future together."

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