Golden era for China-UK relations: Chinese Ambassador
File photo of Liu Xiaoming, Chinese Ambassador to Britain. [Photo: Agencies]
The Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming has said that China and Britain enjoy a mutually beneficial and advantage complement relationship in developing the Belt and Road Initiative, which has become a new highlight in the bilateral relations.
The UK is being represented by Philip Hammond the Chancellor of the Exchequer, at the meeting, during which representatives from the British enterprises and think tanks are expected to be attending.
Ambassador Liu also spoke about the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a multilateral financial institution founded to bring countries together to address the daunting infrastructure needs across Asia.
"The UK was the first major Western power to join as a full member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the second contributor after China to inject capital into the AIIB special fund. These moves speak to Britain's entrepreneurship, of daring to take the lead, and Britain's farsightedness and truly global vision.
"They also reflect the vigorous momentum of the win-win cooperation between China and Great Britain," he said.
Ambassador Liu didn't seem to think that the UK will suffer because it is not directly on the route from China.
"Not long ago, China Railway Express made the return trip between Yiwu and London. This was the very first time China-UK trade was completely connected by land transportation. It also means China Railway Express has completed its 'last mile' and has extended the Belt and Road to the very Western point. This is a landmark event," Liu said.
One apparent by-product of the Belt and Road Initiative is a plan by a Chinese developer to construct 15,000 affordable homes in the Dagenham, East London, not far from the arrival point of the China Railway Express service.
The ambassador stressed that Britain's role in the Belt and Road plan is not limited by geography.
"For example, the UK has an advanced and international financial sector, and mature professional service industries in law and consulting. These are what countries along the Belt and Road routes need for setting up financial service platforms and improving legal systems.
"The UK also has prestigious think tanks and education institutions, and world-class R&D and innovation capabilities. These are all intellectual resources to support the Belt and Road projects," he said.
Speaking on Brexit, and wider issues surrounding the UK's current political climate the ambassador said:
"Last year, Britain voted to leave the European Union and the government went through a reshuffle. But developing positive ties with China remains the consensus of all British political parties," he said. "Next month, there will be a general election in the UK. Whatever the result will be, I believe the China-UK relationship in the 'golden era' will continue to deepen. In a world of uncertainties, the sound bilateral relationship between our two countries will always be a certainty.