China hopes the United Kingdom can see its development in a positive perspective and keep advancing bilateral cooperation in order to enable the growth of both nations, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday.
Wang’s remark came as he met British Cabinet Secretary and National Security Adviser Mark Sedwill, who is leading a delegation of permanent secretaries on a three-day visit to China.
Wang noted that the visit by the delegation showed the importance the British side attached to bilateral relations and its aspiration to advance the “Golden Era” of China-UK relations.
China will work with the British side to bolster communication and exchanges, and enhance mutual political trust, he said, adding that China welcomes more active participation in the Belt and Road Initiative from the UK side.
He also urged joint efforts to keep injecting new vitality and impetus into the “Golden Era” of bilateral relations and to enable concrete benefits to be generated from it.
China adheres to open development, and it will continue to deepen reform and opening-up following the trend of economic globalisation, Wang said.
In adhering to balanced development, China will also push economic globalisation in the direction of being more open, inclusive and equitable within the current international system, he added.
Sedwill said the British side attaches great importance to relations with China, and is willing to advance the “Golden Era” of bilateral relations.
The UK side looks forward to more exchanges between government departments, promoting bilateral cooperation in various areas and jointly dealing with global challenges, said the UK’s top civil servant.
China and the UK are natural partners of the BRI, and the British side supports the initiative, he added.
He said the UK was deeply encouraged by the speech delivered by President Xi Jinping at the opening of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing last month, and it is willing to actively take part in BRI cooperation.
The UK side, which adheres to multilateralism, looks forward to a greater role from China in the international economic system and is willing to step up bilateral cooperation on international and regional affairs, he added.
The visit by the UK delegation comes after an inquiry launched by the country’s National Security Council into the leak of information from senior ministers’ discussions about Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co. The inquiry, reportedly led by Sedwill, led to the sacking of then defence secretary Gavin Williamson.
According to a report in the Daily Telegraph last month, the UK approved Huawei to help build its next generation mobile communication technology network, allowing the company limited access to help build parts of its 5G network such as antennas and other “noncore” infrastructure.