|Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (4th R) and British Prime Minister David Cameron (3rd L) attend a signing ceremony of a number of bilateral cooperation documents after their annual meeting in London, Britain, June 17, 2014. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)|
LONDON, June 17 -- Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang concluded a fruitful day here on Tuesday, inking multi-billion-U.S. dollar agreements and pledging further cooperation with his British counterpart, David Cameron.
Trade and investment deals worth over 30 billion dollars have been signed between Chinese and British firms in such areas as finance, technology, education, energy and infrastructure, after Premier Li met with Cameron for their annual summit at Downing Street.
The two leaders pledged to deepen all-round pragmatic cooperation and inclusive development while celebrating the two countries' decade-old comprehensive strategic partnership.
The visit, Li's first trip to Britain since he took office in March last year, is another major diplomatic endeavor between China and Europe following Chinese President Xi Jinping's Europe tour in late March.
The Chinese premier proposed that China and Britain expand two-way trade to reach a target of 100 billion dollars by 2015, constantly consolidate the political foundation of bilateral relations, and promote common growth and inclusive development, so as to speed up the development of Sino-British ties.
Cameron, for his part, said Britain attaches great importance to its relationship with China and is willing to have sincere dialogues and deepen cooperation in the fields of trade, finance, education, science, civil nuclear energy and high-speed railway.
In a joint statement, the two countries agreed to work together to push forward bilateral cooperation in growth, reform and innovation.
Both sides are committed to an open global economy and trade liberalization, and stand ready to expand economic and trade cooperation and promote development in each other's markets, the statement said.
Applauding the comprehensive strategic partnership as an indispensable element of each other's foreign policy agenda, the statement said the two countries agreed to increase high-level visits in order to guide the development of bilateral relations.
"As (UN Security Council) P5 members, both sides believe that deepening China-UK relations is not only in the fundamental interests of both countries but is also conducive to maintaining world peace and stability," it said.
At a joint press conference following the summit, Li said China and Britain, two major economies in the world, shared broad common interests.
"China is the world's largest developing country, while Britain is the world's first industrialized nation. The deepening of China-Britain cooperation is not only conducive to the two countries, but carries global significance as well," the Chinese premier said.
China is willing to work with Britain as partners for common growth and inclusive development, planning new routes and providing fast tracks for bilateral relations, Li stressed.
Cameron told the press conference that Britain and China are strong partners committed to common development.
The British prime minister said his country is willing to advance political, economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation with China, and deepen the friendship between the two countries.
Earlier in the day, Premier Li met with British Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, where they discussed ways to boost cultural exchanges.
As representatives of the oriental and Western civilizations respectively, China is ready to learn from Britain on how to push for a good combination of traditional culture and modern civilization, so as to make fresh contributions to the progress of mankind, Li said.
Noting that bilateral relations are moving forward on the right track, Li said China is willing to work with Britain to facilitate healthier and faster development of bilateral ties in a bid to bring greater benefits to both peoples.
He invited the queen and other members of the royal family to pay more frequent visits to China to play an active role in promoting the development of bilateral ties and boosting their peoples' friendship.
The queen recalled her visit to China in 1986, saying the trip had left a deep impression on her.
China has undergone great changes and Sino-British relations have achieved substantial progress since her China trip, she said, adding that her country has witnessed an increasing number of Chinese tourists and students.
On Tuesday night, Li also addressed over 600 business delegates from both countries at a banquet hosted by the China-Britain Business Council in London.
The Chinese premier arrived here on Monday for an official visit. Britain is the first leg of his two-nation Europe trip, which will also take him to Greece.