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Vice-premier hopeful on China-UK ties

Updated: 2011-01-13 07:47

By Zhang Chunyan and Zhang Haizhou (China Daily)

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LONDON - Visiting Vice-Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday he hopes the full strategic partnership between China and the United Kingdom could be brought to a higher level.

Vice-premier hopeful on China-UK ties

Vice-Premier Li Keqiang speaks with British Chinese language students at the British Museum, in London, on Tuesday. Li wrapped up his four-day visit to the United Kingdom on Wednesday, which was widely regarded as a huge success. [Luke MacGregor / Reuters]

He made the remarks at an event in London, attended by the Chinese and British business communities. British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Business Secretary Vince Cable were also present.

Li said although the world economy is recovering and undergoing faster adjustments, the recovery is not yet solid due to the impacts of the international financial crisis.

"Nonetheless, we believe that with risk comes hope, and with challenge comes opportunity," the vice-premier said.

During his speech, Li made a three-point proposal aimed at further boosting the Sino-British partnership, as well as two-way trade toward a target of $100 billion.

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He said Beijing and London should cooperate on large projects, create new cooperation highlights together, and complement each other's advantages.

Britain has a cutting-edge creative and new energy industries, while China has a huge market, Li said. He also welcomed more British companies to promote their competitive products and services in China, and encouraged Chinese enterprises to invest in Britain.

During his meeting with Hague, Li said he hopes Britain could relax visa restrictions on Chinese businessmen so as to facilitate exchange and cooperation between the corporate sectors of the two countries. The vice-premier also met with Britain's Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband on the same day.

Vice-premier hopeful on China-UK ties

On Tuesday afternoon, Li visited the British Museum, where he spoke with British students studying Chinese.

In China, English is the most popular and widely used foreign language. In the UK, more and more British students are learning Chinese now. These factors increase Beijing's confidence in the China-UK cooperation and friendship, Li said.

"The UK remains the largest destination for Chinese students in Europe and we have seen an emerging 'Mandarin fever' among British students," Liu Xiaoming, China's Ambassador to the UK, told China Daily.

"All this has further enriched our comprehensive strategic partnership," Liu said.

Vice-Premier Li started his four-day official visit to Britain on Sunday. Britain is the last leg of his three-nation Europe tour, which has already taken him to Spain and Germany.

Ai Yang in Beijing and agencies contributed to this story.



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