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Premier in London to boost ties
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08:16, February 02, 2009

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Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in the British capital on Saturday for an official visit aimed at enhancing bilateral financial cooperation.

"Recent years have seen (an) enhanced China-Britain comprehensive strategic partnership and fruitful cooperation in all areas." Wen said in a statement upon arrival.

"China successfully hosted the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and Britain will host the 2012 London Olympic Games. This offers us a new platform to deepen mutual understanding, enhance friendship and expand cooperation," he said.

During the three-day visit, Wen will meet British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who wants to enlist Chinese support for his plans to revive the world economy.

Wen has reassured European leaders that China's economy is stable and strong. His visit to Britain is the last stop on a regional tour that also included Spain, Germany, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and EU headquarters in Brussels.

In London, Wen is due to meet Brown and other British political and business leaders. Last year, Brown visited China and said improving relations with Beijing would be a priority for his government.

"In the context of the current complex and volatile international situation, China and Britain, two countries with major influence in the world, have broad common interests and a noble common mission in maintaining world peace, promoting common development, tackling global financial crisis and other fields," Wen said. "I am confident that with the joint efforts of both sides, (the) China-Britain comprehensive strategic partnership will continue to grow from strength to strength, bringing benefits to our peoples and contributing to world peace and development."

After leaving the airport, Wen headed directly to London's diminutive Chinatown and exchanged Lunar New Year's greetings with the city's Chinese population.

He told the audience that the Chinese government is taking action to fight the global financial crisis to try and maintain stable growth. He also urged overseas Chinese to remain confident about the country's development and a future economic upswing.

On Saturday, Wen met Stephen Perry, managing director and chairman of The 48 Group Club, an independent business network committed to promoting positive relations with China. The club hails back to the early 1950s, when the founding icebreakers were the first Westerners to establish trade relations with the new China.

Wen said China will never forget such old friends and urged the two countries to continue their legacy by fostering a long-term partnership.

Source: Xinhua-agencies



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