Great Britain

China, Britain pledge to promote free trade, foster open world economy

Undertakings made by two countries’ foreign ministers on the sidelines of G20 meeting in Germany

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 February, 2017, 2:45pm
UPDATED : Friday, 17 February, 2017, 4:57pm

China and Britain have pledged to promote free trade and cooperate on building an open world economy, fanning efforts to shore up what the two governments have called a “golden era” in their relationship, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

China is one of the countries Britain hopes to sign a free trade agreement with once it leaves the European Union and London and Beijing have been keen to show that the UK’s withdrawal from the bloc will not affect ties.

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The pledges on trade and cooperation were made during a meeting on Thursday by the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson on the sidelines of a meeting of the Group of 20 largest industrialised countries held in Germany’s western city of Bonn.

The two countries have in recent months announced closer cooperation in areas such as financial services as the British government prepares to negotiate the country’s EU divorce.

Wang said both nations would promote flagship cooperation on projects such as the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Britain and would look to strengthen their partnership on issues such as trade through close high-level exchanges, Xinhua said.

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Johnson said Britain would strengthen strategic cooperation with China on international affairs, the report added.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has been invited by Beijing to attend a major summit on the “One Belt, One Road” initiative to expand trade and cultural ties from China to the rest of Asia and beyond, diplomatic sources said.