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Chinese envoy hails relationship with UK and Europe, despite Brexit uncertainties

By Bo Leung in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-14 23:23

Liu Xiaoming, China's ambassador to the United Kingdom, has stressed the importance of Sino-UK relations, despite the prospect of Britain's exit from the European Union.

Chinese envoy hails relationship with UK and Europe, despite Brexit uncertainties

Chinese ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming  

He was speaking in London on Wednesday at a gathering of entrepreneurs and other players in the international trade sector.

Liu said, whatever the change in the UK's relationship with the EU, there will be confidence in UK-China and Europe-China cooperation, which "remains firmly grounded and enjoys a strong momentum".

Liu said: "One year on from the Brexit referendum, many changes have taken place, both internationally and regionally, including the official launch of Brexit negotiations. But I want to stress that my confidence in China-Europe and China-UK cooperation remains unchanged."

Liu said his confidence comes from the steady and positive momentum of economic growth in China.

"The fundamentals of China's economy remain positive in the long run and China's door will open wider to Britain, to Europe, and to the rest of the world," he said. "This means a vast market of huge potential and opportunities."

Liu explained that his optimism also comes from "increasingly mature and steady China-Europe relations" and "the huge untapped potential and broad prospects that await China and Europe".

"China and European countries have much to offer to each other, with a wide and high degree of convergence of interest," he said.

Liu noted that Sino-UK relations have been full of cooperation and, while the British people voted to leave the European Union, they did not vote to leave Europe.

"In this sense, China-UK cooperation will always be an important part of China's cooperation with Europe," he said.

With the spirit of entrepreneurship and further communication and cooperation, the ambassador believes this will push China-Europe and China-UK relations to new heights.

At the same event, Gordon Brown, a former UK prime minister, said that, despite changes such as the recent general election, the UK remains determined to build the strongest possible relationship with "our friends in China".

Brown also praised the achievements and visions of the Belt and Road Initiative.

"I understand the infrastructure investment and how massive it is in the future," he said. "I know that millions of people will get a better job and employment and standard of living opportunities as a result."

Jean-Pierre Raffarin, a former prime minister of France, hailed Beijing's efforts in working with Europe on climate change in line with the Paris Agreement.

He said both sides can create jobs, wealth, and numerous projects as they build both Europe and China.

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