China, Britain need to tap cooperative potential: ex-ambassador
|June 15, 2014||Posted by Ocean Shipping Communication China under News, Trade News||
China and Britain should enhance pragmatic cooperation in various areas and properly handle differences, said former Chinese Ambassador to Britain Ma Zhengang on Sunday.
Ma made the remarks on the eve of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s upcoming visit to Britain. During his stay in London, Li will attend the annual meeting of Chinese premier and British prime minister and hold talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron. He will also meet Queen Elizabeth II, attend a banquet with the two countries’ business representatives and deliver a speech to British think tanks.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Ma said the visit, which comes at a time when the two countries celebrate the 10th anniversary of their comprehensive strategic partnership, will further promote bilateral cooperation in such areas as nuclear power, high speed railways, finance, high technology.
“The visit, arranged within the routine framework of the two leaders’ annual meeting, is the first by a Chinese premier in three years and thus carries new meanings,” Ma said.
“Britain, as one of the first Western countries to have established strategic partnership with China, shares considerable economic complementarity and sound cooperative foundation with China,” noted the senior diplomat.
Ma said bilateral cooperation, despite twists and turns, has made substantial progress in various areas.
“When I started my term as ambassador in London in 1997, bilateral trade volume was just around 6 billion U.S. dollars, and there were some 7,000 Chinese students studying in Britain. Last year two-way trade topped 70 billion dollars and the number of Chinese students in Britain increased to 13,000,” Ma said, adding such progress has not achieved by chance.
He said China, with well-developed manufacturing experiences, and Britain, which boasts highly developed finance and service sectors and advanced technology, need mutually beneficial cooperation.
“For one thing, China has technology in infrastructure construction such as high speed railways, which is exactly what Britain needs now; for the other, China should learn from Britain’s experience in financial management,” Ma said.
The two countries also have great cooperative potential for cooperation in culture and education, he said.
Ma suggested that the two countries facilitate contact and communication and properly patch up differences, so as to remove any possible obstacles in the development of bilateral relations.
Ma also said that as a major country in the European Union (EU), Britain could play an important role in advancing the development of China-EU relations.
“London could play a constructive role on issues concerning China-EU investment agreement and China-Eu free trade zone, which is also to Britain’s benefit,” he said.