President Xi Jinping Speaks with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the Phone
On the afternoon of 25 March, President Xi Jinping spoke with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the phone.
With regard to the 50th anniversary of the ambassadorial diplomatic ties between China and the UK, President Xi noted that over the past half a century, despite some twists and turns, the China-UK relationship has on the whole kept growing. Bilateral trade has grown from US$300 million to nearly one hundred billion, and two-way investment stock from virtually nothing to US$50 billion. Last year, China-UK trade reached a new high, and Chinese investment in the UK more than tripled. British companies have taken an active part in China’s reform and opening-up. London has become the world’s leading offshore RMB trading center. The two countries have maintained coordination and cooperation on such issues as global development and climate change, and have actively contributed to addressing common challenges facing humanity.
Recognizing the different national conditions of China and the UK and hence different development paths, President Xi pointed out the need for the two sides to take a strategic and long-term perspective, uphold mutual respect, keep an open and inclusive mindset, increase dialogue and exchange, and expand mutually beneficial cooperation. He affirmed China’s candid, open and inclusive attitude toward dialogue and cooperation with the UK. He called on the UK to view China and China-UK relations in an objective and impartial light and work with China to keep moving the bilateral ties forward.
Prime Minister Johnson noted the high importance of UK-China relations. The UK is proud of the fact that trade between the two countries has grown rapidly and that there are more Chinese students in the UK than any other European country. As both countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council, there are many issues on which the UK and China have shared interest and can work together. He expressed the UK’s readiness to engage in candid dialogue with China, increase exchanges and cooperation, broaden cooperation on trade and economy, and deepen communication and coordination on climate change, biodiversity and other global and regional issues.
The two leaders also exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine.
President Xi expounded on China’s principled position, stressing the need for the international community to make genuine efforts to promote peace talks, create conditions for a political settlement of the Ukraine issue, and facilitate an early return of peace in Ukraine. He expressed China’s readiness to play a continued, constructive role to this end.
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