British Prime Minister, Theresa May, is on a three-day official visit to China where she is discussing trade and other important issues with Chinese leaders.
Aunty May, as the Chinese call her, arrived in Beijing 1 February in order to announce a new package of British-Chinese cultural cooperation, aimed at enhancing the cultural exchange and cooperation between the two countries.
The prime minister also sparked concern in Brussels by questioning the rights of European Union citizens who arrived in Britain during a post-Brexit transition period.
“As a trade and strategic partner of both Britain and the EU, China certainly hopes that the result (of Brexit) will be good for both sides”, said Cui Hongjian, director of the European studies department at the China Institute of International Studies.
British exports to China are up 60 percent since 2010, and China is expected to be one of the U.K.’s biggest foreign investors by 2020.
Compared to her predecessor David Cameron, who hosted Xi in 2015, May was “much more cautious” about China, Fraser Cameron said. The joint hearing organized by the Civil Liberties, Employment and Petitions committees took stock of the situation following the announcement by European Union leaders last December that “sufficient progress” has already been achieved in all areas to begin the second phase of negotiations.
The Beijing-based newspaper claimed that in her meeting the MP had sought to “expand pragmatic collaboration with the country so as to pave the way for future trade and investment deals”. May says that British companies will sign more than 10 billion euros in deals during this trip. Both Britain and China refer to their relation as a “golden era”.
She did not go into further detail, but the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said the agreements would focus mainly on the fields of finance, agriculture, science and technology, as well as President Xi Jinping’s flagship Belt and Road economic initiative.
Referring to business deals struck during the China trip worth £9 billion, (RM50 billion), she said: “There will be more people in jobs in the United Kingdom as a result of this trip”. It also had some concerns regarding the implication of Brexit for market access to Europe for Chinese firms that have made investments in Britain.
Bill Winters, group chief executive of Standard Chartered, said that the MoU would bring the two banks closer together, and offer more flexibility of funding to support projects along the Belt and Road routes.
He told The Sun that senior Brexiteers should stop attacking the Chancellor after he said there should only be “modest changes” to Britain’s relationship with the European Union post Brexit.