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POST TIME: 2 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Jingping wants ‘new level’ of China-Britain ties
AFP

Jingping wants ‘new level’ of China-Britain ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (L) ahead of their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing yesterday. AFP photo

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping told British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday that their countries should take trade ties to “a new level” as London scouts the globe for fresh partnerships after its contentious EU exit, reports AFP. Hounded by Brexit rows at home, May is seeking to deepen trade relations with the world’s second largest economy as Britain prepares to leave the European Union next year.

The embattled prime minister and senior Chinese leaders championed a “golden era” of relations between their two countries throughout her visit.

But criticism in London over her domestic agenda and her handling of Britain’s vexed divorce with the European Union loomed large, prompting her to declare she was “not a quitter” before her arrival on Wednesday.

“As the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union we’re going to be more outward looking and looking to enhance our relationships around the world, and this relationship with China is an important part of that,” May told state broadcaster CCTV.

May held talks with Xi at the Diaoyutai State Guest House tea after visiting an agricultural sciences academy, later taking part in a traditional tea ceremony with the Chinese leader and his wife Peng Liyuan. The BBC reported that May, who was expected to raise environmental concerns, would present Xi with a box set of the network’s Blue Planet II series, with a personal message from presenter David Attenborough.

“We must strengthen the pragmatism of Sino-British relations in the golden era, and push economic and trade cooperation between the two countries to a new level,” Xi said during their meeting, according CCTV.

Xi said the two countries can “develop mutually beneficial cooperation on a wider scale, at a higher level and on a deeper level” though his cherished One Belt One Road initiative.

The massive infrastructure programme is aimed at reviving ancient Silk Road trade routes by building rail and maritime networks across the world.