Foreign and Military Affairs

China-Britain ties keep good momentum: ambassador

Updated: 2010-11-09 09:18
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LONDON-- China-Britain relations have maintained good momentum of development, said Chinese ambassador Liu Xiaoming prior to British Prime Minister David Cameron's first visit to China.

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Cameron will pay an official visit to China on Tuesday and Wednesday at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, his first trip to China after taking office in May.

Liu said Cameron's visit is significant to the long-term development of China-Britain relations and will further enhance political mutual trust and promote cooperation in various fields.

The ambassador said the China-Britain relationship is a very important one. The comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries has been continuously enriched with a mature political dialogue mechanism and frequent high-level contacts.

He said Britain continues to pursue a positive China policy since the new coalition government took office in May this year, and the relationship between China and Britain is in good shape.

The two countries are both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and have global influence, said Liu. Therefore, they shoulder important responsibilities for maintaining world peace and stability and promoting global prosperity, and have broad common interests, he said.

The two nations have had good interaction within the framework of the Group of 20 (G20) and the United Nations, and maintained close communication and coordination on global issues, Liu said.

In addition, China and Britain have maintained strong growth of economic and business ties and closer cooperation in education and culture. Britain is China's third largest trading partner in the European Union (EU) and the largest EU investor in China. Meanwhile, China has become the sixth largest investor in Britain in terms of the number of investment projects.

"We have also seen an emerging 'mandarin fever' in Britain. Mandarin courses are now taught in more than 500 schools. And over 100,000 Chinese students are studying in Britain," said the ambassador.

He said the Shanghai Expo has also brought the two peoples closer. The British Pavilion helped the Chinese people get an idea of Britain's creativity and innovation, while British visitors found a friendly, confident, open and broad-minded China.

To further develop China-Britain comprehensive strategic partnership in the new situation, the two nations should take full advantage of high-level exchange and dialogue mechanisms to discuss major issues of common concern, enhance mutual understanding and trust and further consolidate the political basis of the partnership, said Liu.

China and Britain should boost pragmatic cooperation in economy, education, science and technology, and firmly oppose trade protectionism, he said. They should work together to promote the reform of global economic governance, economic growth in the two countries and world economic prosperity, he said.

The two sides should properly handle differences through dialogue on equal footing. Given differences in social systems, stages of development, culture and tradition, it is normal that the two nations have different views on some issues, Liu said.

"We need to enhance understanding and mutual trust through exchanges and dialogues based on equality and mutual respect and to eliminate differences and expand consensus with courage and wisdom," he said.

Moreover, Liu said, as Cameron's visit came on the eve of the G20  summit in Seoul, leaders of the two nations will enhance communication and coordination on major issues to promote a positive outcome at the summit.