Xi’s UK visit will have global implications

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-10-20 0:13:01

Chinese President Xi Jinping began his state visit to the UK Monday. Not just the Sino-UK relationship, but also ties between China and the Western world will experience a special breakthrough.

The British government has used the term "golden time" to describe the future ties between China and the UK. This is so far the most optimistic description from most Western countries over their relations with China. The attitude revealed exceeds the past boundaries of China's diplomatic relations with the West, while indicating a new political norm between China and the West is about to be kicked off.

British public opinion and some political forces in the country, by force of habit, have expressed some opposing opinions. However, they seem unable to press their influence this time. Criticisms over the "violation of human rights" in China are no more than clichés, while the accusation, which argues that the bilateral deal to build a nuclear power plant in Britain will endanger UK national security, sounds like objections only for the sake of opposition. British society, like other Western ones, holds a prejudice against the rising China. Yet this prejudice is not rooted in the UK's core interests.

The emergence of China has not posed any threat to Europe, nor has China stirred up any trouble in the West. The reason why Western countries do not like China lies mostly in the mentality of being sick of competition, while hoping to safeguard their vested interests. But if any nation holds such an attitude toward emerging countries like China, they would go against the trend of the times and drift further away from opportunities.

When it comes to policy toward China, the UK bears no geopolitical burden. It is therefore more open-minded. Compared with other members of the EU, the trade volume between China and the UK is not the biggest. But London has intentionally come to the forefront of developing friendship with China, because it has realized the strategic importance of getting one step ahead and it is trying to count China in its big picture of revitalizing its glory.

How far China and the UK can go beyond their ideological divergences and how much freedom London can get from Washington in terms of maintaining a friendly relationship with Beijing, will become the focus of attention with strategic values in future Sino-British ties. The West needs to rediscover China. Currently, the UK seems to be interested in making such a demonstration.

Establishing a brand new relationship between China and the UK and China and the West will probably not be a smooth path. Yet the "golden time" will become an innovation in the field of international relations, and the high-level summit this week is bound to be a grand diplomatic feast.

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