Sino-British ties make headway - ambassador
Updated: 2005-11-08 08:49
LONDON -- Relations between China and Britain have made headway and enjoyed
good momentum, said Chinese Ambassador to Britain Zha Peixin said in an recent
interview with Xinhua.
While speaking on Chinese President Hu Jintao's incoming state visit to
Britain, Zha noted a growing interest among the British public in China, as
evidenced by his many a invitations to give speeches on the China topic at
various business and academic occasions.
Particularly in this October alone, he added, he gave eight such speeches.
The British have also demonstrated a strong interest by showingup in large
crowds at China's Spring Festival celebrations this year in London, which drew
some 200,000 people to the Trafalgar Square.
"Hardly a day passes without some coverage on China by Britain's mainstream
media," he said, adding that meanwhile, local governments in Britain are also
showing stronger interests in setting up links with China.
Against such a backdrop of favorable development of ties between the two
countries, said the ambassador, President Hu's state visit to Britain starting
on Tuesday will play a positive role in deepening Sino-British comprehensive
strategic partnership, promoting result-oriented cooperation in key areas,
enhancing bilateral communication, exchanges and coordination on international
and regional issues and giving a boost to the mutual understanding and
friendship between the two peoples.
Over the years, bilateral relations have witnessed remarkable progress and
enjoyed good momentum. The two sides have establishedthe comprehensive strategic
partnership, with priorities given to bilateral cooperation in key areas such as
trade and investment, finance, energy, education, culture, science and
technology, environment, health and sustainable development.
Both attaching great importance to their relations, China and Britain have
set up a mechanism for their leaders to meet annuallyand exchanged frequent
Trade and economic cooperation between China the Britain has also enjoyed
rapid and profound development in recent years. In 2004, bilateral trade reached
19.7 billion US dollars, an increaseof 37 percent over the previous year. The
figure in the first halfof this year grew by 30 percent over the same period
Britain is China's third largest trading partner and No. 1 investing country
in the European Union. By the end of June, Britain's direct investment in China,
excluding financial investment, had exceeded 12.7 billion dollars.
Both sides have increased bilateral exchanges and consultationson major
international and regional issues. For example, PresidentHu attended upon
invitation the dialogue between the G-8 industrialized countries and five major
developing countries in London.
China was also invited to attend the Middle East Conference in London on the
issue of Palestine as well as an international conference on climate change.
"All of this have shown the fact that Britain attaches great importance to
China's status, role and influence in the international arena, and values the
coordination with China on major international and regional issues," said the
Zha noted that the British government has exhibited a positive attitude
toward China's development.
"Prime Minister Tony Blair has said on quite a few occasions recently that
China's development presents an opportunity rather than a threat to the world,
which is not only conducive to improving the lives of 1.3 billion Chinese, but
also to the growthof every country," said Zha.
"The prime minister also expressed the hope to strengthen political ties with
China and become an important partner as recognized by the Chinese side," said
The Chinese government, said Zha, has always attached great importance to its
relations with Britain despite their differencesin social systems and
ideological forms. But the two sides share far more common ground than
"So long as the two sides respect each other, constantly build on mutual
political trust, promote cooperation with an pragmatic approach, and keep
working on the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, the
development of Sino-British relations will definitely advance up to a new
level," said Zha.