posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 12:36 AM
This has been a freezing winter for Europe, not only in terms of the heaviest snow for decades, stalled traffic and interrupted day-to-day life, but
also as a result of the debt problem that has beset some countries. As one Chinese idiom goes, "It should be up to each to clear the snow on his own
But in an era of globalisation and interdependence, the health of the European economy is not just a matter for the Europeans. Outside support is also
in order. China sent a clear message at the third China-EU High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue, held recently in Beijing: we support the financial
stabilisation package of the EU and IMF and will take concrete action to help some EU members to address their sovereign debt problem. I noticed that
this message hit the headlines of several newspapers in Europe – it seems that cold Europe is feeling the warmth of the Chinese breeze.
China is doing what a Chinese proverb says about "sending charcoal in snowy weather". This shows again that my country's development brings
opportunities for the rest of the world. China alone may not be able to solve the problem for Europe, but it is willing to help as a true friend and
partner when Europe is in need. We understand that China and the EU share so many common interests that we can only develop and achieve win-win
results through co-operation and partnership.
China's partnership with Britain is an important part of its relations with the EU, and China-UK co-operation a good example of China's co-operation
with the EU. We have much to offer each other and a lot more to accomplish by drawing upon our complementary strengths. We should make every effort to
make the pie of our co-operation bigger.
China is now the UK's largest export market in Asia. The UK exported over £5 billion of goods in the first three quarters of last year, a
year-on-year increase of 43 per cent. Britain has also been a premier investment destination for Chinese businesses, and China ranks second in London
in terms of the number of investors. The British Government is endeavouring to expand export and attract more inward investment, while China is trying
to boost domestic demand and encourage its businesses to "go global". Closer business ties between China and the UK, or "partnership for growth"
as David Cameron puts it, are exactly what we need to restructure and develop our economies.
There are many potential areas for co-operation. China is working on a jumbo jet project, while the UK is a leader in the aviation sector and boasts
advanced engine technologies. China leads the world in the mileage of its high-speed railway, which stretches for nearly 4,500 miles, while the UK is
planning to build a high-speed railway linking its north and south.
The UK is a frontrunner in low-carbon economy, possessing mature technologies and rich experience, and China is a vast market for energy efficiency,
emission control and sustainable development. We should step up joint R&D and business co-operation in this area. The UK enhanced its reputation as a
centre for innovation and design through its successful participation in the Shanghai World Expo. A way should be found to form a synergy between
"designed in the UK" and "made in China", which would benefit both enormously.
Educational and cultural links have served our common interests well. Nearly 120,000 Chinese students are studying in the UK. This means at least £2
billion a year in income for Britain. These students bring back to China knowledge and expertise and, more importantly, friendship between young
people of the two countries. Cultural exchanges have enriched the minds and lives of both peoples. I run into quite a few Britons practising
traditional Chinese Tai Chi in parks. They tell me they like it because it is good for both their physical and mental well-being and is a welcome
relief after intensive work.
China and the UK have also been working closely on a global scale. We both call on the international community to step up macroeconomic policy
co-ordination and reform international economic and financial governance structures; we both uphold free trade, oppose trade protectionism and work
for an early conclusion of the Doha round negotiations; we have had close dialogue and co-ordination in relation to the Iranian nuclear situation and
other hotspots. China and the UK need to work together to address global issues.
In this context, the visit of China's Vice Premier Li Keqiang to the UK next week is an important one. It provides a great opportunity for our two
countries to further their co-operation. Mr Li will discuss in depth with Mr. Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and other Cabinet members,
ways to bring China-UK partnership forward in all areas, and exchange views with leaders of the business and financial communities.
He will also visit a wave power generation project in Scotland and zero-carbon residential areas in London. It is expected that a number of agreements
will be signed during the visit. More than 100 Chinese business leaders will come on the trip and meet with their UK counterparts.
I am sure that this visit will bring another Chinese warm breeze to the UK.