CHINA / DIPLOMACY
Queen's upbeat comment about UK-China relations good for bilateral cooperation
Published: Jul 10, 2021 02:04 PM
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II records her address to the UK and the Commonwealth in relation to the coronavirus outbreak at Windsor Castle, west of London on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II records her address to the UK and the Commonwealth in relation to the coronavirus outbreak at Windsor Castle, west of London on Sunday. Photo: AFP

 

Queen Elizabeth II said the China-UK relations are very important and the royal family will continue to make efforts for the development of bilateral relations when she accepted a letter of credentials from China's new ambassador to the UK via video link.

The Chinese ambassador Zheng Zeguang praised the queen and the royal family for their long-term support for the development of bilateral relations, and said China is committed to developing healthy and stable bilateral relations with the UK. 

The queen's remarks were a positive sign following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's remarks on a Chinese company's purchase deal with a British semiconductor chips manufacturing plant. 

Ordering his national security adviser to probe the takeover, Johnson said,"I do not want an anti-China spirit to lead to us trying to pitchfork away every investment form China into this country. That would be economically foolhardy."

His government in early 2020 decided to ban Huawei from joining the UK's 5G network following the US government trumpeted concerns of espionage and surveillance, an accusation the Chinese telecommunication giant has denied repeatedly.

The EU parliament voiced calls to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics over the so-called human rights abuses in Xinjiang. The British opposition Labour Party had pushed the issue but Prime Minister Johnson said he was "instinctively" against sporting boycotts. 

Meanwhile, the British government has joined its Western allies in meddling in Hong Kong and Xinjiang affairs. This complex attitude of the UK in dealing with China reflected UK is carefully balancing its trade-centered relations with China and the influence of politics and ideology of the US-led Western group. 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held a video conference with business representatives from the UK on Tuesday, and they discussed a wide range of issues including bilateral relationship, pragmatic economic cooperation, measures to improve the business environment and counter the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It marks the first formal business communication between the two countries in the absence of high-level diplomatic dialogue this year.   

Britain needs a close cooperation with China to offset the impact of its withdrawal from the EU and elevate its global influence, Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times. 

Although London is likely to continue following the political steps of the US government to make things difficult for China in order to achieve its diplomatic goal, relations between China and the UK could move toward a balance, observers predict, noting positive development of China-UK relations would offer an insight for the EU to handle its relations with China. 


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