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Britain could help build new Silk Road, says Chinese ambassador

By Cecily Liu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-15 02:00

China's Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming on Monday said Britain's role in strengthening the Belt and Road Initiative was vital to increase global trade and connectivity.

Britain could help build new Silk Road, says Chinese ambassador

Liu Xiaoming, China's ambassador to the UK

Writing in the UK newspaper The Telegraph, Liu said Britain is a country of global influence and could be an important partner for China in its Belt and Road Initiative.

Liu's article, ‘Britain is helping us build a new Silk Road' comes as China and UK celebrate the45th anniversary of ambassadorial relations.

Liu said Britain had many strengths and unique advantages that could give it a head start in Belt and Road cooperation, including the country's highly internationalized financial sector, mature professional services in law and consulting, prestigious think-tanks and educational institutions as well as world-class research and development and innovation platforms.

Britain's close historical and cultural ties with countries along the Belt and Road route, such as Kenya and Pakistan, were also another key advantage.

Liu said these strengths and advantages put Britain in an excellent position to secure all the opportunities the Belt and Road Initiative had to offer, such as increased investment and trade opportunities.

President Xi Jinping proposed the initiative in 2013 to connect Asia, Europe and Africa by developing modern infrastructure along ancient trade routes to encourage trade and investment growth.

The international connections would further enhance China's role in international trade and globalization, which President Xi supported in a speech made at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January.

Liu referred to President Xi's speech, saying that Xi's calling for "an open global economy to share opportunities and interests" had much in common with British Prime Minister Theresa May's vision of a truly "global Britain" that "embraces the world."

Liu said: "Both leaders understand that winning results are only possible if we increase global connectivity and share the fruits of growth. Increasing connectivity along the new Silk Road is one way to achieve that."

Liu said China and the UK could continue to jointly develop the market along the Belt and Road route, and deliver greater common prosperity.

To advance the Belt and Road Initiative further globally, China is set to host the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May in Beijing, and China has invited May to attend.

Liu said: "The UK could be a key partner for China, reaping the potential of these opportunities. By ensuring we pull together, the Belt and Road Initiative could, like the Silk Road before it, go a long way to delivering better lives for many millions of people, from Asia to Europe."

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