UK hopes for start of golden decade

Updated: 2015-10-15 10:09

By Fraser Cameron(

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Cameron is also keen to support China's flagship Belt and Road Initiative, seeing good prospects for joint ventures between Chinese and UK companies. The UK, along with EU partners, is now discussing the priority sectors and potential projects for financial support.

Cameron and Osborne will place a strong emphasis on attracting further Chinese investment to the UK especially in the nuclear industry, high-speed railways, the aeronautical sector, and other infrastructure projects including utilities, airports and roads. Osborne has already offered China an initial £2 billion government guarantee to secure Chinese involvement in the planned Hinkley Point nuclear power station.

President Xi will also visit Manchester as the government is placing much emphasis on the industrial renewal of the north of England and will showcase opportunities for Chinese investors, such as the £11.8 billion in contracts for the HS2 high-speed railway linking London and Manchester.

On other issues, the Xi-Cameron talks will focus on global concerns, including Syria and Ukraine, counter-terrorism, climate change and regional security. The UK would appreciate China playing a more active global role as it did with regard to Iran. It would like to see China more engaged in the fight against the Islamic State group.

The UK has welcomed China's involvement in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and would also welcome a more active Chinese role in Sudan and Somalia. The UK also considers it timely to deepen cooperation with China on development issues especially the new sustainable development goals.

Red carpets, palace banquets and talk of "best friends" and "golden decade" demonstrate just how important the relationship with China is for the UK.

Fraser Cameron is director of the EU-Asia Centre in Brussels

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