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Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Theresa May of the UK Hold Annual China-UK Prime Ministers' Meeting

On the afternoon of January 31, 2018, Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Theresa May of the UK, who was paying an official visit to China, held the annual China-UK Prime Ministers' meeting at the Great Hall of the People.

Li Keqiang expressed that China-UK relations have been at the forefront of China's relations with Western countries for many years. President Xi Jinping paid a successful visit to the UK in 2015 and the two countries announced to build the global comprehensive strategic partnership facing the 21st century. Under the current international situation, China has always attached importance to the UK and China-UK relations. It is believed that it conforms to the common interests of the two sides and is conducive to promoting regional and world peace, stability and prosperity for China-UK relations to maintain sound and stable development.

Li Keqiang pointed out that China and the UK are at a crucial stage of their own development at present. Both sides enjoy obvious complementary advantages and broad prospects of all-round mutually beneficial cooperation. The two countries should seize opportunities and meet each other halfway, so as to jointly push the "golden relations" between China and the UK for acceleration and development in a new historical position.

The two sides should respect each other and enhance political mutual trust. The high-level exchanges should be intensified and strategic consensus should be deepened. Both sides should give play to the role of top-level design of the Prime Ministers' meeting and the relevant high-level dialogue mechanisms to plan and guide practical cooperation in various fields to new highs. The two sides should respect each other's core interests and major concerns and properly deal with differences.

The two sides should reinforce strategy alignment and expand the two-way opening. Cooperation in such fields as the "Belt and Road", nuclear power, high-speed railway, finance, high-tech trade and third-party market should be strengthened. The two-way investment should be expanded and the proportion of high-tech products in bilateral trade should be raised to create the growth point for new kinetic energy cooperation. China agrees to step up the preparatory work of Shanghai-London Stock Connect and stands ready to review the timeline for its launch at an appropriate time.

The two sides should continuously improve the exchange pattern of "major people-to-people and cultural engagement" of China and the UK and intensify the two-way personnel exchanges. Cooperation and communication in education, culture, science and technology, tourism, locality, and youth should be strengthened to cement the people-to-people and cultural foundation of bilateral relations.

Li Keqiang addressed that as the important global economies and permanent numbers of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, China and the UK are firm supporters for economic globalization as well as trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. China is willing to, together with the UK, strengthen exchanges and cooperation under the multilateral frameworks including the UN and the G20, enhance communication and coordination on international and regional affairs, guide and push forward an innovative, open, interconnected and inclusive world economy, in a bid to contribute to promoting world peace and development.

Theresa May expressed that the successful visit of President Xi Jinping to the UK has opened up a "golden era" for bilateral relations. She has kept close communication with Mr. Premier, and welcomes Mr. Premier to visit the UK and hold a new round of UK-China Prime Ministers' meeting. She is willing to, through this visit, further elevate UK-China comprehensive strategic partnership, which has entered the "golden era". The economies of the two countries are highly complementary to each other, with economy, trade and investment between both countries maintaining a sound momentum of sustained development. She brought a large economy and trade delegation in this visit. Both sides will sign a series of agreements on economy and trade, which conforms to the common interests of both countries and the two peoples. Both the UK and China support globalization and oppose trade protectionism. The UK is willing to promote the "Belt and Road" cooperation, and explore cooperation in innovation, finance, intellectual property protection, artificial intelligence and other fields with China. The UK welcomes China to expand its investment in the UK, appreciates China's willingness in reviewing the timeline for the launch of the Shanghai-London Stock Connect. People-to-people and cultural exchanges are the major bond for UK-China relations. During her visit to Wuhan, Theresa May witnessed the increasingly intensified exchanges between students of the two countries. It is believed that the friendship and cultural exchanges between the young people of the two countries will make important contributions to the future development of bilateral relations.

Chinese Premier and UK Prime Minister also exchanged in-depth views on international and regional issues of common concern.

Prior to the talks, Li Keqiang held a welcoming ceremony for Theresa May at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Wang Jiarui and others were present.

After the talks, Li Keqiang and Theresa May witnessed the signing of multiple bilateral cooperative documents, covering economy and trade, finance, aviation, customs, health care, inspection and quarantine, smart city and other fields.

In the afternoon of the same day, Li Keqiang and Theresa May jointly met the press and answered questions. Both sides spoke positively about the achievements of the meeting. Li Keqiang noted that at the moment, the UK faces a new situation of exiting from the European Union (EU). However, China-UK relations will not change because of changes in UK-EU relations. China will continuously advance China-UK relations to new highs based on the principle of mutual respect, equal treatment and mutual benefit and win-win results, so as to make the development of China-UK relations and China-EU relations facilitate each other.

Li Keqiang pointed out that since the world economy presents a positive momentum of recovery and sound development, all sides should doubly cherish such momentum, jointly safeguard trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, promote economic globalization, make free trade benefit the two countries and more countries, and jointly send strong signals of win-win cooperation, in a bid to offer the world market with stable expectations of long-lasting peaceful development. As the door of reform and opening up of China will only become wider, China will advance the opening up of its financial sector in an active and stable manner. Today, Standard Chartered Bank was officially granted the underwriting qualification of Panda bond issuances, which is conducive to boosting financial cooperation between the two countries. China encourages enterprises of both countries to expand two-way investment and elevate the scale and quality of bilateral trade.

Theresa May expressed that both the UK and China are permanent members of the UN Security Council. The influence of bilateral relations is extensive, profound and global-oriented. The UK will continuously remain committed to pushing forward the development of the "golden era" of bilateral relations. The UK stands ready to, together with China, strengthen cooperation in various fields and deepen a stronger partnership so as to jointly promote world peace and prosperity in the 21st century.

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