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May praises Golden Era of Sino-UK relations

By Conal Urquhart in London | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-15 07:15

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday praised the United Kingdom's relationship with China in a far-ranging speech on foreign policy delivered in London.

Speaking to business leaders at the Lord Mayor of London's banquet, May said that the UK would increase its investment in Asia and singled out China as a strategic and economic partner.

May praises Golden Era of Sino-UK relations

"I am committed to maintaining the Golden Era of our relationship with China - not just as a vital trading partner but also as a fellow permanent member of the Security Council whose decisions together with ours will shape the world around us," she said.

"And I am committed to deepening our partnerships with countries across Asia, where I believe that Britain's global offer can have a hugely beneficial impact in ensuring that the region's potential is fully realized."

The speech allowed May to escape from her domestic political worries to address issues such as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the situation in Myanmar and Russia's handling of the Crimea issue.

May has recently lost two cabinet ministers in separate scandals and now faces the difficult task of pushing legislation relating to the UK's departure from the EU through the Parliament over the next two months.

But she was able to step away from her domestic difficulties and deliver a confident speech in which she emphasized how close the UK was to the countries it is about to leave in the EU.

"For we remain a European nation - our history marked by shared experience, our societies shaped by common values, our economies interdependent, and our security indivisible," she said.

May emphasized the importance of free trade and open markets to the UK. "Where open markets thrive and the rule of law holds sway, British companies prosper. And they take in their DNA a way of doing business that brings not only commercial but wider benefits - of good governance, respect for the law, corporate and social responsibility," she said.

The prime minister was warmly applauded. It may be some time before she faces an equally appreciative audience as she tries to lead her weak government through the quagmire of Brexit.

Conal@mail.chinadailyuk.com

(China Daily 11/15/2017 page12)

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