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Ambassador Zheng Zeguang: Success of Chin-UK cooperation serves as a guide for future efforts

On 28 June, Ambassador Zheng Zeguang attended the release of the Online Exhibition of Achievements of Chinese Enterprises in the UK and delivered a keynote speech entitled Seize opportunities to forge ahead in China-UK economic and trade relations. He reviewed the extraordinary journey of China-UK economic and trade relations and summarized the important experience in the following three points.

First, the success of the Chinese political system is the fundamental premise for the development of Chinese enterprises in the UK.

For the past 100 years, the CPC has led the Chinese people in making strenuous exploration and arduous efforts, from revolution to development and reform. It has blazed the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and led the nation to create “two miracles” rarely seen in the world, namely rapid economic growth and sustained social stability.

China’s rapid economic growth has provided a solid basis for its trade and economic cooperation with other countries, which in turn has facilitated the sustained growth of China’s economy.

BRI is a good example of this. It was proposed by China but delivers benefits to the whole world. It is not a solo performance by China but a chorus by all participating countries. Its development follows the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and this has won extensive recognition around the world.

As China opens wider to the world and the BRI development keeps advancing, more and more Chinese companies are bringing their capital and businesses to the UK. Today, the cooperation between Chinese and British companies covers a wide range of areas from financial services and high-tech manufacturing to clean energy and infrastructure. This has not only promoted the growth of Chinese companies, but also created huge job opportunities and tax revenue and boosted the development of the relevant industries locally.

Second, the sound and steady development of China-UK relations is an important safeguard for the growth of Chinese compnaies in the UK.

In the 70 plus years since the founding of New China, the relations between China and the UK have kept making progress despite ups and downs.

China has always seen the UK as a partner for cooperation and remained committed to developing a sound and steady China-UK relationship. As State Councilor Wang Yi said in his telephone conversation with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab last month, “China-UK relations have a deep foundation and strong driving force. China has always attached importance to the international status and role of Britain and is willing to be a partner of a ‘Global Britain’.”

China and the UK are different in history, culture and development stage. And it is not surprising that the two sides have different views on certain issues. The key is to respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, enhance mutual understanding through equal-footed dialogues, reduce and manage our differences, and expand consensus and mutual trust.

China creates opportunities for the UK rather than poses a threat. The British people who are well-known for their good sense of history and pragmatism will come to an independent judgment. The two sides should move forward in the same direction, stick firmly to the right path and work together to achieve win-win results.

The sound development of China-UK relations will provide a stable and predictable macro environment for the cooperation between the enterprises of our two countries.

Third, win-win cooperation is the basis for the development of Chinese enterprises in the UK.

Companies may have many secrets to the success of their cooperation, but the most important one is always seeking win-win results.

Now, more than 800 Chinese enterprises have invested and set up businesses in the UK. They have projects in every corner of the country. They are expanding their investment from traditional sectors such as financial services, trade and energy to new ones, including high-end manufacturing, infrastructure, cultural and creative industries, and information technology.

In recent years, eight Chinese banks opened their branches in the UK. London is now the world’s largest offshore RMB trading centre and second largest offshore RMB clearing centre, with the total clearing volume exceeding 55 trillion RMB yuan. Four Chinese enterprises are listed in London through the Shanghai-London Stock Connect, which enabled the first-ever connection between the Chinese capital market and a foreign one.

It is exactly because the business communities of both our countries follow the principle of mutual benefit that their cooperation has yielded fruitful outcomes.

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