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|Monday, October 16, 2000, updated at 22:22(GMT+8)|
China-UK Forum Second Meeting OpensThe second meeting of the China-UK Forum opened in Beijing Monday afternoon, which aims to promote mutual understanding and the comprehensive development of bilateral relations.
During the two-day gathering, participants from both countries are expected to discuss issues concerning culture, education, the environment, technology, finance, law and press, thus, creating conditions for bilateral cooperation in these areas.
Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Bangguo said at the opening ceremony that Sino-British relations have maintained good momentum thanks to joint efforts, and the two countries have had frequent high-level exchanges over the past year, adding that areas of cooperation have also expanded.
He also said that trade volume between the two countries has been increasing, and such a forum between the two sides is becoming an important channel for Sino-British cooperation. Wu expressed the conviction that the frank exchange of views at the event will be conducive to promoting cooperation between governments and enterprises of the two countries, making a positive contribution to the growth of bilateral relations.
The forum, a high-level and non-governmental gathering, was initiated by leaders of China and Britain two years ago. The first meeting of the forum was held in London in October last year and Chinese President Jiang Zemin and British Prime Minister Tony Blair addressed the opening ceremony of the meeting.
John Prescott, British Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and Regions, said at the occasion that the fact that he is leading a delegation of more than 80 members reflects the importance of Sino-British relations and the strong desire of Britain to enhance cooperation with China.
He said that the meeting will play an important role in promoting mutual understanding and the spread of know-how in related areas.
Song Jian, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and Former British Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine are serving as co-presidents of the meeting.
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