Vastavam web: Chinese President Xi Jinping told British Prime Minister Theresa May today that their countries should take trade ties to “a new level” as London scouts the globe for fresh partnerships after its contentious EU exit.Hounded by Brexit rows at home, May is seeking to deepen trade relations with the world’s second largest economy as Britain prepares to leave the European Union next year.But criticism in London over her domestic agenda and her handling of Britain’s vexed divorce with the European Union loomed large, prompting her to declare she was “not a quitter” before her arrival on Wednesday.
“As the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union we’re going to be more outward looking and looking to enhance our relationships around the world, and this relationship with China is an important part of that,” May told state broadcaster CCTV.”We must strengthen the pragmatism of Sino-British relations in the golden era, and push economic and trade cooperation between the two countries to a new level,” Xi said during their meeting, according CCTV.
Xi said the two countries can “develop mutually beneficial cooperation on a wider scale, at a higher level and on a deeper level” though his cherished One Belt One Road initiative.But the project has spurred both interest and anxiety in many countries, with some saying it mainly benefits Chinese state-run firm and has whiffs of expansionism.May had said yesterday that London welcomes the initiative but she cautioned that the two countries would continue to work together to ensure that the endeavour “meets international standards”.May said the two countries would sign nine billion pounds (USD 12.7 billion) in business deals during her visit.
The two countries agreed new measures to improve access to the huge Chinese market and set up a special panel to explore trade opportunities, she said yesterday.Britain runs a 25.4-billion-pound trade deficit with the Asian giant and only 3.1 per cent of British exports go to the country, according to Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit.”If it comes to a double-lose result, that will be also unfavourable to China,” Cui told AFP.
China worries that Britain’s EU exit will remove a pro- free trade force from the bloc and give rise to protectionism, he said.The British prime minister was also under pressure to address the political situation in Hong Kong and human rights abuses in mainland China.Chinese authorities have carried out a relentless crackdown on civil society since Xi took office in 2012.