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UK hopes to be a force of positive growth in Asia through AIIB

(Xinhua)    08:33, May 14, 2015

Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei speaks at the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding on Establishing Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 24, 2014. Twenty-first Asian countries that are willing to join AIIB as founding members on Friday signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Establishing AIIB. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

The United Kingdom hopes to be a strong force of positive growth in Asia through its participation in the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the British Ambassador to China said in Tianjin on Wednesday.

The UK submitted its application to join AIIB as a founding member in March.

"We agree with China's analysis that Asia needs more investment in the infrastructure to help the economic growth. And Asia's growth will benefit the world," said Barbara Woodward, the first female British Ambassador in China.

"We want to be part of the AIIB and become a strong force of positive growth in Asia and the world," she added.

The AIIB was first proposed by China in 2013 and will be formally established by the end of this year. With an initial subscribed capital of 50 billion U.S. dollars and planned authorized capital of 100 billion U.S. dollars, AIIB will focus on filling the real gap in infrastructure investment in Asia.

The UK plays an important role in other international and regional financial organizations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and European Investment Bank.

"I think it will be good if we could share our experience with AIIB by participating it early," Woodward said.

After UK's application, other western countries like France and Germany also announced their intention of participation. A total of 57 countries have submitted applications to be the founding members of AIIB.

"We have been very delighted to receive a warm response from China to our application. We look forward to concluding the negotiations late in this month and hope that all the founding countries could sign the agreement in June," said Woodward.

The UK always pays great attention to build a strong relationship with China. During UK's coalition government's last five year, Chinese investment in UK grew about 85 percent annually, she said.

"China is now UK's 6th largest trading partner. We have seen that the bilateral trade had increased to more than 80 billion U.S.dollars last year,"she said. "The conservative government will also make strong commitment to enhance the trade and investment with China."

British Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party just won the UK general election last week. With overall majority seats in the House of Commons, the Conservatives would be able to form a majority government on their own rather than seeking help from other minor parties.

During her visit to Tianjin this time, Woodward also gave a speech in Nankai University where she once worked in 1987 as an English lecturer. In the speech, she made a metaphor that Diplomacy in the 21st Century is like a "ding", an ancient Chinese cooking vessel with three legs.

She said that the three legs of the new diplomacy are the exchange at the levels of governments, enterprises and the people. She said she hoped that China and UK could further strengthen the connections from the three dimensions at the same time.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Gao Yinan,Huang Jin)

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