Xi Jinping kicks off UK visit to seek closer EU ties

Oct 19, 2015, 08:50 am

print page small font big font

facebook share

tweet share

The street leading from Buckingham Palace has been lined with Chinese flags in preparation for Xi Jinping's state visit to the UK. It is showing the UK's strong will to welcome Xi Jinping./ Source from Xinhua News Agency

By Hong Soon-do, Beijing correspondent, AsiaToday - Chinese President Xi Jinping has begun a five-day state visit to the United Kingdom along with his wife Peng Liyuan from Monday at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II. It is the first visit by a Chinese president for a decade since Hu Jintao visited in 2005. It seems clear that his visit will serve as a stepping stone for new ties with European countries.

According to Chinese state media outlets including Xinhua News Agency on Sunday, China actually needs development experience of the United Kingdom, Germany, and France more than ever as its economic development is adjusting to the new normal, which refers to more realistic and sustainable expansion with emphasis on the quality of growth rather than its sheer speed. It seems China considers the UK as a stepping stone for establishing ties with European countries to acquire the experience.

In fact, the UK, unlike Japan or the US, is not holding back China, who is aiming to become the G1. It even seems that the UK is driving forward the strategy of pursuing practical interest by taking advantage of China's economic growth. The fact that UK joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as a founding member, shows the situation well.

In the same vein, Xi is expected to sign a large-scale cooperation agreement in the field of nuclear power plant, high speed railway, banking, and scientific technology during his visit. If things work out well, China could make an official announcement of its plan of building a nuclear plant in Bradwell, Essex, with its own technology. Furthermore, China could join the first phase of the "High Speed 2" (HS2) project promoted by the UK. Perhaps, the agreement could be made during Xi's visit.

This is why Britain is expected to afford a royal welcome to Xi, who will attend the official welcoming ceremony and welcome dinner hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at the Buckingham Palace. Xi will then get a carriage ride to Buckingham Palace. He is also invited by Prime Minister David Cameron for dinner at the official UK Prime Minister's country residence Chequers. It's not an exaggeration to say that such welcome shows clearly the status of China as well as the UK's will that it won't consider the US.

#Xi Jinping #UK visit #Europe #Queen Elizabeth II 
Copyright by Asiatoday