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British scholars see benefit of Xi's vision

By Wang Mingjie in London | China Daily | Updated: 2018-02-12 10:00

British academics have praised President Xi Jinping's new vision outlined at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, saying it reflects China's role in the modern world and is beneficial for Sino-UK relations.

Julian Beer, deputy vice-chancellor at Birmingham City University, said, "The way President Xi Jinping has conceptually articulated China's version of socialism and reinterpreted it for the future is a helpful glimpse into the way China views its role in the world, both now and going into the future."

The new "Chinese way", Beer said, is intellectually respectful of Chinese heritage and recent history.

"This provides a guide on how China's leadership views its journey over the coming years, where there is not just the expression of economic prowess, but political, social and environmental considerations expressed through the 'Chinese way'," he added.

Because all political leaders need to find a way to engage the people and give them confidence that the future is in safe hands, "these concepts are designed to show that President Xi Jinping has a plan and the authority to keep China's transition in the early 21st century on track", said Peter Frankopan, a professor of world history at Oxford University.

With massive investment going into the Belt and Road Initiative, it is not surprising that Xi must set out what China's objectives and aims are for the future, added Frankopan, who is also the author of the international bestseller The Silk Roads: A New History of the World.

In the face of the UK's pending departure from the European Union, Beer said, China could offer many intriguing opportunities that the UK could benefit from economically, socially and environmentally, all built upon China's undoubted economic strength.

Tom Harper, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Surrey, said he believes that the biggest opportunity for Sino-British cooperation will come in the form of the Belt and the Road Initiative.

"From my experiences, China, alongside India, has been mentioned as a potential alternative to the European Union for British trade and I believe that this will become particularly crucial should Britain leave the EU," he said.

wangmingjie@chinadailyuk.com

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