Chinese Ambassador to UK urges respect
Published: Jan 21, 2020 10:43 PM

Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming speaks during a forum themed "40 Years on: China and the World" in London, Britain, on Sept. 13, 2018. (Xinhua/Stephen Chung)

The China-UK relationship has grown steadily over the past year, the Chinese Ambassador to the UK told the Global Times, saying that the two countries should respect each other's core interests and major concerns while remaining committed to independent decision-making that ensures the sustainable development of bilateral relations. 

Liu Xiaoming said 2019 marked the 65th anniversary of China-UK diplomatic relations at the chargé d'affaires level and the two countries have maintained steady high-level exchanges while yielding concrete business cooperation. Facing uncertainties and rising trade friction, China and the UK have reached consensus on opposing protectionism and unilateralism, and on supporting free trade and multilateralism, Liu noted. 

"However, it is important that the two sides respect each other's core interests and refrain from interfering in each other's internal affairs," he said. 

During the Hong Kong protests, the UK side has made irresponsible remarks time and again and took irresponsible steps to interfere in Hong Kong affairs, which are the internal affairs of China, the ambassador noted.

"This has brought harm to the China-UK relationship," Liu said.

Liu emphasized that some Western governments, legislatures and NGOs clamored for violence and supported extremists publicly or from behind the scenes. British officials and MPs had also made "wrong remarks" on Hong Kong. 

A deep-seated ideological prejudice in the West provoked attempts to destabilize Hong Kong and use the city to undermine China's sovereignty, security and development interests, said Liu.

He hoped the UK would stop any interference in Hong Kong affairs and do more things that are "conducive to the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and deeper mutual trust between China and the UK." 

US pressure has led to apparent hesitation over a decision whether or not to allow Huawei to join in the rollout of 5G networks in the UK.

China had reiterated its solemn position on many occasions regarding the participation of Huawei in Britain's 5G development, the ambassador said.

He stressed that Huawei technology was safe and the company has made a tremendous contribution to China-UK cooperation.

"The harm of banning Huawei is obvious," Liu said. 

The British government should resist the pressure, ignore external interruptions and remain committed to independent decision-making, he said.

"Economic globalization is an irreversible trend of our times," read his emailed remarks. "Countries should choose multilateralism over unilateralism and hegemony, choose win-win cooperation over putting one's own country first, and work to tear down walls instead of erecting them."

Liu also dismissed an alleged internal document on China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region that made international headlines last year. 

"The so-called 'internal document' regarding Xinjiang is yet another fabrication by people with ulterior motives," Liu said.

"Here are my questions for those people: Who have been the troublemakers and warmongers in the Islamic world in recent years? Is it out of sincerity or a hidden agenda that these people choose to focus on Xinjiang now and pretend to care about the situation of Muslims?"

Liu said he has repeatedly pointed out to British media that Xinjiang-related issues are not about human rights, ethnic groups or religions. 

The measures taken by the Chinese government in Xinjiang are aimed at preventing and fighting religious extremism and terrorism, Liu stressed.

Liu said that he hoped Brexit might enhance high-quality, win-win cooperation between China and the UK on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), business cooperation and global governance.

"BRI cooperation has become a focus of government work, a headline in the media, a hot topic among think tanks and an attractive choice for companies," Liu said. 

China and the UK are at different stages of industrial adjustment and transformation, Liu noted. They share strengths, common interests and enormous potential for cooperation in development model, industrial structure and science, technology and innovation. 

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