World / Political Ties

Xi's Britain tour to have big impact on China-EU ties

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-10-22 15:10

BRUSSELS - Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Britain is not only a big boost to China-Britain relations, but also very important to China's general ties with the European Union, said experts and officials.

The visit between Monday and Friday follows Xi's first European tour as Chinese head of state last year to the Netherlands, France, Germany and Belgium, said Qu Xing, Chinese ambassador to Belgium, the country which hosts the European Union.

This has shown a strong continuity in China's European strategy, Qu said, adding that China has been hoping for a united, strong and ever-growing Europe, just as Europe would like to see a further developing China continuing on its pace of reform and prosperity.


"Recognition of China as a global and regional strategic player is growing very much in Europe," said Shada Islam, director of policy at Brussels-based think-tank Friends of Europe, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Islam said that even though Europe was on this moment focused on its neighborhood, its domestic troubles like the refugee crisis, the eurozone debt, and the referendum on Britain's EU membership, the China-EU relationship is there to stay because the ties are based on such a fundamental and indispensable necessity.

"The real issue is economic," said Islam, adding that China is a very important global economic player, while Britain and the EU are perceived to need more investment and trade from China.

The British government has introduced ambitious plans on upgrading infrastructure, building the Northern Powerhouse in the north of England and implementing the strategy of UK Industry 2050.

These plans and the Road and Belt Initiative and the initiatives of "Made in China 2025" and "Internet Plus" undertaken by China complement each other in many ways, said Xi in a written interview with Reuters prior to his visit to Britain.

According to Islam, the British government is especially interested in getting Chinese investment in railway links, in particular the high-speed railway link in northern England. In some other fields, including nuclear power plants, telecommunication and energy, where China has the money and Britain is interested in, there will also be cooperation opportunities.

At the witness of Xi and British Prime Minister David Cameron, China and Britain on Wednesday signed a slew of deals worth about 60 billion U.S. dollars, including those ones on joint development of Britain's Hinkley Point C nuclear power station and the high-speed 2 railway project.

"Britain definitely needs to modernize its infrastructure. This is win-win situation here," said Islam.

She believed it is going to have a big impact on the growth of jobs in Europe, which is in the big demand and big need for the moment. And it will also benefit China, which needs boost as well.

"Exchanges between China and Britain, in terms of trade and economy or people to people interactions, have largely been undervalued," said Song Xinning, an expert on European studies at China's Renmin University recently.

Trade between China and Britain has been growing constantly, unaffected by negative world economic environment, Song noted, adding that their bilateral trade is destined to play an important role in enhancing the overall trade and economic links between China and Europe.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Trudeau visits Sina Weibo
May gets little gasp as EU extends deadline for sufficient progress in Brexit talks
Ethiopian FM urges strengthened Ethiopia-China ties
Yemen's ex-president Saleh, relatives killed by Houthis
Most Popular
Hot Topics