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British PM Theresa May starts China tour

Writer:   | Editor: Lily A  | From:  | Updated: 2018-02-01

BRITISH Prime Minister Theresa May arrived in Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei Province, yesterday, starting a three-day official visit to China at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

During the visit, May will co-host the bilateral annual prime ministerial meeting with Li and meet with Chinese leaders in Beijing to exchange opinions on bilateral ties and international and regional issues.

This is May’s second visit to China as prime minister after she attended the G20 Summit in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou in September 2016.

She will hold talks with President Xi Jinping today and wrap up her visit tomorrow in the eastern business hub of Shanghai.

May wants to burnish the “golden era” between the countries announced by Xi during a State visit to Britain in 2015.

In a major outcome reached at the recent China-U.K. Economic and Financial Dialogue, the two are proposing a bilateral investment fund with the first round of US$1.3 billion to create jobs, promote trade and support the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

The two countries also plan to step up practical cooperation in such fields as nuclear technology, high-speed train, energy, aerospace and artificial intelligence, among others. The China-Britain relationship has been considered an exemplar for China-West ties in terms of putting aside differences and seeking the largest possible common ground. Britain is the first major Western country to join the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as a founding member.

May said yesterday in Wuhan that Britain is eyeing closer cooperation with China in education and culture. She said Britain and China had long cooperated in education and achieved results.

Jiang Chaoliang, Party secretary of the Hubei Provincial Committee, welcomed May and the British delegation of 50 businesses and organizations at the elite Wuhan University.

Cooperation in education between Hubei and British organizations has become prominent in China-U.K. cultural exchanges, said Jiang in a welcome speech. He hoped that May’s visit would open a new chapter in cultural cooperation between Hubei and Britain.

May said new agreements signed on her trip would “enable more children and more young people than ever to share their ideas about our two great nations,” helping to ensure that “our golden era of cooperation will endure for generations to come.”