UK's pragmatic policy yields win-win results
Updated: 2015-09-24 07:58
Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai (R) shakes hands with Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (L) before the start of the 7th China-UK strategic economic dialogue at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, in Beijing, China, September 21, 2015. Osborne said on Monday Britain would like to continue helping the gradual internationalisation of the yuan and that it welcomed the potential for majority Chinese investment in future nuclear projects. Speaking at the start of an annual economic and financial dialogue, Osborne said that there was probably no country in the West that was more open to Chinese investment than Britain. [Photo/Agencies]
The seventh round of economic and financial dialogue between China and the United Kingdom held in Beijing on Monday yielded fruitful results, consolidating the two countries' resolve to deepen pragmatic cooperation in an all round way.
During the dialogue, co-chaired by Chinese Vice-Premier Ma Kai and visiting British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, the two sides signed 53 agreements ranging from nuclear energy, and high-speed railway to an expanded currency swap line.
The UK indicated that China could build and own a nuclear power plant in Britain in the future, potentially paving the way for China's first nuclear power project in the West.
In Shanghai, Osborne expressed confidence in the Chinese economy, supported its efforts to reform the global financial system and urged the International Monetary Fund to give Beijing greater say and include the yuan in its currency basket.
The support Britain is giving to China on crucial issues stems from deepened mutual understanding and the mutual need to pursue meaningful and reciprocal interaction. Britain was also the first major Western power to sign up for the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Development Bank in March.
That Beijing and London are setting a good example for bilateral ties between a major developing country and a major Western power is more than evident.
But China-UK ties took a downturn in May 2012 when British Prime Minister David Cameron met with the Dalai Lama despite Beijing's opposition. Relations thawed only when Cameron paid a visit to China in late 2013. And Premier Li Keqiang's visit to the UK in June 2014 indicated the two countries had managed to tide over misperceptions.
The trajectory of China-UK ties over the past few years is a telling story of how different approaches in dealing with nation-to-nation ties can make a big difference.
Compared with the difficult period around 2012, China-UK interactions today present a desirable and harmonious picture under which the two sides are learning to respect each other's concerns and accommodate each other's interests despite their ideological differences.
President Xi Jinping is scheduled to visit the UK next month, and we have every reason to believe the visit will push China-UK relations to an even higher level.