The 9th China-UK Strategic Dialogue was held in Beijing and co-chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his British counterpart, Jeremy Hunt. At the dialogue, they discussed joint efforts to safeguard multilateralism and free trade. Free trade has wide acceptance by international community, it is a general and irreversible trend for the future, China has always upheld this spirit, FM Wang said when meeting the media.
They reached consensus and agreed to ramp up efforts to coordinate development strategies and expand trade, with focus on cooperation in high and new techs, including nuclear power, finance, AI, green energy. London has great knowledge and experience in the development of green and smart cities, while China has much infrastructure construction abilities and talents, when combined, all these will contribute to China’s goal of building modern and smart cities.
Hunt said, the UK is willing to expand bilateral dialogue with China, to uplift understanding and friendship. The two countries have great room to cooperate in various fields, to open a new era of strategic bilateral ties.
Speaking of the trade friction between China and the United States, Wang reiterated that Beijing still is open to dialogue and consultation, on the premises that talks be carried out on an equal footing. He also said that, any form of unilateralism will serve the interest of no one, and the wrongness of such activities will be proved by time and development rules.
Hunt was former UK health secretary and appointed British Foreign Secretary earlier this month, this is his first visit to China and also the first trip outside the EU after taking office. Hunt will also meet with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Yang Jiechi, director of the Foreign Affairs Commission. Primer Li Keqiang had also expressed his hope that China and the UK to foster new growth points through Shanghai-London Stock Connect scheme, which is scheduled to be rolled out this year. This scheme will allow investment get freer access from the British market to Chinese market and vice versa.Hunt’s visit shows that the UK really values bilateral ties with China, especially at such a time of Brexit, when the UK is looking beyond EU for market.
China and the UK are both permanent members of the UNSC, the two countries are doing their parts in safeguarding international order and will not just stand and see any form of protectionism. Considering current international situation of rising unilateralism and trade protectionism in some parts, such a dialogue between the two big economies is to signal a positive message that the two countries are firm in promoting globalization and free trade based on international rules and the framework of WTO.