China’s top envoy to the UK said 2017 will be a year for consolidating the China-UK ‘Golden Era’, in spite of challenges that some Chinese businesses in the UK may face from Brexit, especially those in the financial industry and companies with EU headquarters in the UK.
‘The China-UK relationship is now at a historic moment, and it is time to lock in what has been achieved and seek further progress,’ said Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, in an exclusive interview with China Daily. ‘There is huge potential to be tapped and bright prospects for cooperation.’
Liu made his remarks in tandem with the publication of a British government policy document on Feb 2 that clearly sets out the way in which the UK will be withdrawn from the 28-member European Union.
The white paper details 12 major principles, including the way the UK will control its immigration and arrangements for trade. The document is seen to be in line with British Prime Minister Theresa May’s vision of building Britain into ‘an independent, truly global UK’.
Reiterating China’s position on Brexit, the ambassador said: ‘We respect the choice of the British people. We respect Britain’s independent choice of its own development path. And we hope the UK and the EU will reach an early arrangement that is acceptable to both sides.’
He also said he is optimistic about the Brexit negotiations. ‘I believe, when there is a problem, there is always a solution.’
Brexit will not affect China’s confidence in its growing ties with the UK and the EU, Liu said.
His attitude is reflected in the increasing enthusiasm of Chinese businesses to invest in Britain and the EU.
Source: The Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China