Home / World / 45th Anniversary of Establishment of ChinaUK Diplomatic Relations

Britain's ex-chancellor predicts mutual benefit

By Wang Mingjie | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-03-13 18:07

George Osborne believes China and Britain can help each other improve

China and Britain can help each other grow economically, according to George Osborne, Britain's former finance minister.

Britain's ex-chancellor predicts mutual benefit
George Osborne, Britain's former Chancellor of the Exchequer

Osborne, 45, who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer under the premiership of David Cameron from 2010 to 2016, said: "China is such an important part of the world now. When China grows, the whole world grows."

As a key figure in orchestrating the "golden era" relationship between China and the UK, Osborne said Britain can help China's economic development.

He said: "Because Britain is an advanced economy with high-tech manufacturing and services, I think we are particularly suited for this stage of China's development, to help China move to the next level of income growth."

Osborne said he was impressed by China's achievements of the past 20 years and said: "I hope that China does not now rest on its laurels, but continues to reform and grow, which I think British companies can help with."

However, he said he believed there was also an opportunity for China to help Britain to become a more productive international economy.

He said: "In the aftermath of Brexit, it is particularly important that Britain strengthens its trade links with countries beyond Europe, of which, of course, China is one of the principal ones."

Osborne, who has been the Member of Parliament for Tatton in the northwest of England since 2001, said he remains firmly committed to playing a role in British politics, despite leaving the UK cabinet last July following Theresa May's appointment as prime minister.

He said: "One of the issues that I particularly want to focus on is British-China relations … make them stronger and explain to people in Britain why they are good things."

He said he believed it is in the UK's best interests to have a strong dialogue with the Chinese government.

Britain was the first Western economy to endorse China's Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, in the face of United States opposition.

He said: "I think it is a great opportunity to co-partner with the AIIB on investment and infrastructure, not only in China but also across Central Asia. Many British companies which are brilliant at infrastructure, design and architecture, have already been involved in some of China's airports and urban regeneration projects."

Osborne also strongly encouraged Chinese investment in Britain as he said he believed the investment should go in two directions.

He said: "I want Chinese companies to invest in Britain and in particular I want Chinese companies to invest in industrial cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool-as part of the Northern Powerhouse project."

The Northern Powerhouse is a project to create an economic area in the North of England, which could compete with London.

During President Xi Jinping's state visit to the UK in 2015, Manchester was a key stop in the president's schedule

"As a result of that visit, there is a lot of Chinese investment across the North of England. That is very welcome," he said.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of ambassadorial relations between China and the UK.

Osborne said he was proud that it was Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath who started bilateral relations and it was a Conservative government, whichhelped create the "golden era" of relations in 2015. 

"We have so much in common, including joint interest in peace, security and prosperity in the world, so I hope we will be continually working together," he said.


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