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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 14:58, September 06, 2005
UK-China cooperation has bright future: Blair
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Before British Prime Minister Tony Blair was due to visit China and Britain's attending the 8th EU-China Summit to be held in Beijing as the rotating president of the European Union, he accepted a written interview by correspondent of People's Daily on September 3.

EU-China cooperation conforms to common interests

Speaking of expectations of the China-EU Beijing summit PM Tony Blair said faced with problems and challenges emerging worldwide the European Union and China are conducting deeper and broader cooperation in the common interests of both sides. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the EU and China. We are building on the basis of 30 years' successful cooperation. The 8th EU-China summit will strengthen the strategic partnership between the two sides. The new agenda for the development of our relations will be committed to addressing global political and security issues and will also include enhancing dialogues in human rights, trade, science and technology, and social affairs. The importance of this partnership will continue to advance in the 21st century.

Mr. Blair said I am very glad that President Hu Jintao was able to attend the G8 summit. At this EU-China summit we will further discuss the climate change issue. Meanwhile we expect the progress of the trade relations and closer cooperation on the migration issue. All the cooperation will enable the EU and China to have better understanding and trust. During the process apart from political effort the business circle and non-governmental organizations will also participate. The EU-China enterprise summit will be a valuable occasion to promote commercial contact.

UK-China strategic partnership important

Speaking of further consolidating the all-round strategic partnership between Britain and China Mr. Blair said relations with China are of great significance and priority for Britain. We have broad exchanges with China because China has influence on us and this influence is constantly growing. China's economic growth provides huge opportunity for the UK-China bilateral trade and investment. As its influence increases China should also be more active in addressing global issues. The all-round strategic partnership agreement signed with Premier Wen Jiabao in May 2004 points out that we should conduct broader and deeper cooperation on the basis of establishing political relations.

Mr. Blair said the development of the bilateral relations has huge potentials. Since May 2004 we have enhanced our mutual understanding and launched a series of cooperation in trade, tourism, illegal immigrants, peacekeeping troops, environment, science and technology, human rights, rule of law and education etc. These progresses have shown that the bilateral relations have a bright future. The UK-China summit on September 6 will push this partnership forward. We will conduct more important discussions centering on global challenges and issues.

Consultations to be strengthened in the area of environmental technologies

Cooperation between Britain and China in climate changes is a key area, said Mr. Blair. We will, on the basis of the G8 summit, establish further constructive dialogues with China in London in November. To make progress in many areas of the clean technology action plan, China will be a key partner. We are collaborating with China and the European Union, and conducting consultations on how to boost cooperation in technology and use new clean technologies, as China's economy grows rapidly and energy demand increases constantly.

Expecting more bilateral trade intercourse

The trade and investment relations between Britain and China have sound foundation, said Mr. Blair. The bilateral trade approached 13 billion pounds last year and Britain is China's largest investment country in the EU. In the meantime, China's investment in Britain is growing fast. We expect to see larger-scale cooperation between China and Britain in some other areas, for example, in financial service, energy, information and communications, health care and water resources etc.

Regarding the EU arms embargo Mr. Blair said, we are discussing with EU partners on control of modern weapon exports, including reappraising the 1989 arms embargo on China. Before making a decision on the arms embargo we need to conduct more consultations within the EU and with other international partners.

As to China's market economy status Mr. Blair said Britain and China are making contact on this issue. We admit its importance and hope China can provide more information to enable the Commission of the EU to make a positive decision on this issue.

Regarding China's reform on the RMB exchange rate mechanism Mr. Blair said we welcome this decision and believe this to be a step toward the right direction.

By People's Daily Online


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