Chinese, UK officials discuss intensifying bilateral trade, economic ties

Updated: 2016-11-10 22:15

By Cecily Liu and Li Wensha in London(

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Chinese, UK officials discuss intensifying bilateral trade, economic ties

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May meets with China's Vice-Premier Ma Kai in 10 Downing Street, in London on Wednesday. [Photo by Carl Court/Reuters]

Top Chinese and UK officials discussed the next step for intensifying the economic and trade relations at a high level dialogue in London on Thursday.

The eighth UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue brought the most senior Chinese delegation to Britain this year and involved a series of events, including discussions on trade, financial services, infrastructure and energy. Billions of pounds of projects were showcased, while this year's dialogue has a strong focus on infrastructure investment, trade and financial services.

Chinese Vice-Premier Ma Kai and British Prime Minister Theresa May affirmed the desire of both sides to strengthen the "golden era" of relations as they met on Wednesday, ahead of the dialogue.

Ma passed on the best wishes from President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to May. He said that the meeting between Xi and May at the G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou in September was another affirmation of China and the UK's "golden era" of relations.

The term 'golden era' was coined by Xi and former UK Prime Minister David Cameron last year during Xi's state visit to the UK, when almost 40 billion pounds worth of deals between the two countries were agreed.

May said that she was very glad to meet President Xi in Hangzhou, and said she wanted China to know that Britain was "open for business" as it prepares for life outside the European Union.

"As we take the next step in this golden era of relations between the UK and China, I am excited about the opportunities for expanding trade and investment between our two countries," said May.

Ma said it is obligatory for World Trade Organization members to observe Article 15 of the Protocol on China's accession to the WTO. China strongly opposes any practice to continue comparing the cost of China's exports with that of a surrogate country.

According to Article 15 of the Accession Protocol of China to the WTO, other WTO members are allowed, in anti-dumping cases, to compare the cost of China's exports with that of a surrogate country (third country). However, this practice was only to be maintained for 15 years, meaning it is coming to an end in 2016.

Ma said China expects the UK to maintain objectivity on this matter, and fulfill its obligations in due time and in a comprehensive and thorough way.

Britain has said it backs backed China's aim of gaining market economy status by December this year.

May said the dialogue is an important part of the golden era of relations and she expects more Chinese investment to the UK.

A series of announcements on infrastructure is expected to make during the dialogue. CITIC and Chinese Developer ABP together are investing 320 million pounds in the 1.7 billion pound London Royal Albert Docks project. CITIC Construction will also establish its UK HQ at Royal Albert Dock. When complete, the project is expected to create 30,000 jobs and become a commercial hub of a comparable scale to the City of London and Canary Wharf.

UK exports to China have grown rapidly and Britain is home to more Chinese investment than any other European country.

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