British Prime Minister Tony Blair greeted counterpart Zhu Rongji as a fellow moderniser in a summit seen by both governments as a turning point in long-troubled ties. Mr Zhu said no new barriers to warm Sino-British relations had arisen since Hong Kong's handover. 'Now nothing can hinder the two countries from developing steady and comprehensive relations into the 21st century,' Xinhua quoted him as saying. Mr Zhu hailed his visit as 'opening a new page' in Sino-British ties. He added the two countries served as standing members on the United Nations Security Council and could play a greater role in promoting world peace and economic advancement. He also suggested that British firms could benefit in the long run if they invested in the central and western part of the mainland. Human rights issues were also on the leaders' agenda. Mr Blair raised the sensitive issue of rights violations on the mainland, including the cases of individual dissidents and Beijing's handling of Tibet. Beijing officials indicated that Mr Zhu and the country were open to dialogue on human rights. Mr Blair's spokesman, Alastair Campbell, said: 'The Prime Minister was fascinated by Mr Zhu himself and had no doubt he was in the company of a fellow moderniser. 'He is clearly somebody of real drive and determination and has a clear vision of the future. 'We hope this is a first step in a fresh start for UK-China relations since the successful transition of Hong Kong'. The two prime ministers expressed confidence in the Hong Kong authorities, Mr Campbell said. They agreed the SAR's strength would enable it to ride out difficulties brought on by Asia's financial turmoil. Mr Blair stressed the importance of maintaining the rule of law in Hong Kong, he said.