BEIJING: During his first official visit to the United Kingdom, President Xi Jinping will meet members of the British royal family and hold talks with Prime Minister David Cameron about the future development of China-UK relations.
“I feel that by giving President Xi the highest level of reception, it shows that Britain wants to greatly strengthen bilateral relations, especially in the areas of economic cooperation to spur its own economic growth,” said Zhou Yongsheng from China Foreign Affairs University. “Britain is not only one of the most developed nations in Europe; it has quite a lot of standing in the European Union too.”
For the likes of Jin Canrong, an international relations expert from Renmin University, the political atmosphere is now “better” than before.
“There were problems previously, for instance, Prime Minister Cameron’s meeting with the Dalai Lama. So it has not always been smooth sailing,” Mr Canrong said. “But compared to previous years, the political atmosphere is better. The Chinese government also wishes to reduce the international community’s doubts about China’s development.”
During his visit, Mr Xi will deliver a speech in the capital London, where he is expected to touch upon China’s peaceful development and its domestic as well as foreign policies.
The two nations are also expected to push forward their cooperation in areas such as nuclear power, high-speed rail and economic partnership.
“I feel that there will be some substantive results. For instance, China could confirm proposals to help Britain develop nuclear power plants and help it construct high-speed railways. These are all huge projects,” Mr Yongsheng said. “They could also establish a clearing bank for the renminbi currency in the UK, making the country an offshore centre for the Chinese yuan.”