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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's remarks on how China-UK cooperation takes the lead in the cooperation between China and the West

(30th January 2018)

Q: Tomorrow, British Prime Minister Theresa May will officially begin her visit to China. We noted that British Ambassador to China Barbara Woodward held a press briefing in which she said that the UK's commitment to the Golden Era relationship with China remained constant, steadfast and steady. The UK sees the immense potential of the Belt and Road Initiative and is a natural partner for it. The UK and China would maintain close cooperation in this regard. We know that the UK was the first to join the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank as a major country in the West and an European country and it also has played an exemplary role in forging cooperation with China. Does China hope that the China-UK cooperation will continue to take the lead?

A: At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang, British Prime Minister Theresa May will pay an official visit to China and hold a new round of China-UK Prime Ministers' Annual Meeting from tomorrow to February 2. China attaches great importance to the China-UK relations and Prime Minister May's forthcoming official visit to China. We hope that Prime Minister May's visit will achieve positive results.

I talked about this visit with you last week and yesterday. The current Sino-British relations are on good terms, facing new opportunities for development. We have noticed that Ambassador Barbara Woodward said to the media that Britain is a natural partner for China in advancing the Belt and Road Initiative, and the two sides will maintain close cooperation in this regard. Indeed, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an open and inclusive platform for cooperation, and it has been well accepted worldwide as the most important platform for international cooperation. The British government and Prime Minister May have voiced their support to the BRI on many occasions, and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond attended the Belt and Road Forum in China last May as Special Envoy of the British Prime Minister.

In fact, cooperation on the BRI is a major area where China and Britain can give full play to their respective advantages and achieve mutually beneficial and win-win results. The Chinese and British governments and market institutions all have the willingness to explore more opportunities for cooperation and expand broader prospects for development under the BRI framework. We believe that stronger pragmatic cooperation between the two sides under the BRI framework boasts immense cooperation potential and promising prospects. It will not only benefit the two countries and their peoples, but also help sustain the world economic recovery.

At present, China and Britain are in close communication and coordination to make final preparations for the arrangements and outcomes of this visit. We believe that as China and the UK embrace the new era of development, Prime Minister May's visit will shift the China-UK "Golden Era" into a higher gear, and elevate China's cooperation with Europe and the West to a new level.

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