British ministers hail strong UK-Sino ties


LONDON, (Xinhua) — British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Monday hailed strong UK-China relations and expected the beginning of the fifth high-level People-to-People Dialogue between the two countries, which will kick off later this week in Britain.

The two ministers’ remarks came as Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong started an official visit to the United Kingdom (UK) on Monday afternoon to co-chair the high-level bilateral meeting on people-to-people exchanges with Hunt.

“The UK-China relationship is strong and continues to deliver benefits for both countries, so I am delighted to welcome Madame Liu to the UK for the People-to-People Dialogue,” Johnson said in a press statement released by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

“China and Britain are both global powers with a global outlook, and will continue to work together to solve the big issues facing our world today, build economies of the future and develop our people-to-people links,” said the foreign minister.

For his part, Hunt said, “I am delighted to once again co-chair the People-to-People Dialogue, which will reaffirm the strong ties between the UK and China and underline our commitment to working together to solve some of the biggest issues facing the world today.”

“Health is a key pillar in this relationship, which is why we will be collaborating to tackle major health issues such as fighting disease and improving health outcomes for all,” Hunt said in the statement.

The visit, which is scheduled to end on Thursday, will take Liu to the British cities of London, Edinburgh and Oxford.

During the visit, Liu will meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Johnson, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew at Buckingham Palace.

She is also expected to sign a host of cooperative agreements on people-to-people exchanges between China and the UK.

The high-level exchanges, also known as the P2P Dialogue, will enhance the UK-China partnership by promoting further collaboration on a broad range of issues including health, education, culture, science and innovation, tourism and sport, the British foreign ministry said on Monday.

This year’s P2P Dialogue theme is the “Spirit of Youth”, which connects to a British government campaign that promotes deeper collaboration and exchange through inspiring the next generation of leaders in both countries.

On the eve of Liu’s visit, British ambassador to China Barbara Woodward said, “I think the future for the UK-China relations is very exciting and we’ve already established a ‘golden era’ in UK-China relations.”

“I think we’ll see a deepening and broadening of our overlapping interests with China, and opportunities for building a very bright future together,” said the London envoy.