At a time when China’s sweeping reforms are entering a decisive year, and as China is drafting its 13th five-year plan, China’s top leader will take this significant visit as an opportunity to continue declaring China’s peaceful development and its determination of reform and opening-up.OPENING NEW CHAPTER FOR CHINA-BRITAIN RELATIONS
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in New York in late September that Britain is looking forward to Xi‘s visit and will speed up efforts to make good preparations.
Prince William handed Xi Queen Elizabeth II’s invitation letter when he visited China in March, and the Queen made a formal announcement of Xi‘s visit at the opening ceremony of a new parliament held in late May.
Now as the visit approaches, the royal family, the government and the people of Britain are all eagerly awaiting Xi‘s coming and are fully prepared to welcome him.
During the visit, the Queen will hold a welcoming ceremony for Xi and invite him for both an informal lunch and a formal dinner. Together, the two leaders will review the Royal Horseguards. Several members of the royal family will attend Xi‘s activities during the visit — a high standard of reception that showcases the high level of ties.
Xi will also hold talks with Prime Minister David Cameron and make joint plans for the future development of China-Britain relations. In addition, Xi will also meet with leaders of opposition parties and parliamentary leaders to hear their appeals and expectations for relations between the two nations.
Zhou Hong from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences thinks that Xi‘s upcoming trip, during which he will visit a single European nation, is very rare in Sino-European history, and that it in some way indicates China attaches great importance to its relations with Britain, which is a major country at the core of the European Union.
As the world’s two major countries , China and Britain share comprehensive common interests while shouldering the important responsibility of promoting world peace and stability,Xi said when meeting with Prince William in March in the Great Hall of the People.
Acting as permanent members of the United Nations’ Security Council, China and Britain have maintained good long-term communication on regional and global affairs.
The relationship between China and Britain is becoming increasingly stable and mature, which not only brings concrete benefits to the two peoples, but also actively contributes to world peace and development, Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming said.ENHANCING COOPERATION FOR WIN-WIN RESULTS
During his visit, Xi is scheduled to deliver an important speech in the City of London, where he will systematically expound China’s domestic and foreign policies, charting the future course for China-Britain and China-Europe economic and trade cooperation.
Xi‘s visit offers Britain an opportunity to better understand him and his thoughts, said Stephen Perry, chairman of the 48 Group Club.
In the bilateral talks on the sidelines of the nuclear security summit held in The Hague last March, Xi and Prime Minister Cameron agreed to push forward cooperative programs in such areas as nuclear power, high-speed rails, high technology and finance, among others.
Since 2012, London has been seeking to become the key Western hub for trading the Chinese yuan. Among the 53 agreements made in the UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue this September, three are focused on bilateral financial cooperation.
In his state visit to China this September, British Finance Minister George Osborne said Britain welcomes China to participate in the construction of its new nuclear programs. Making special reference to the construction and operation of Hinkley Point C, he said that Britain wants to make it a cooperation platform for Chinese capital, French technology and the British market. If carried out, it would be the first time for China to invest in a Western nuclear industry.
This April, Britain has encouraged enterprises and financial institutes both at home and in China to participate in Britain’s HS2 railway project.
During his upcoming visit to Britain, Xi will attend a banquet and visit research projects and local businesses in Manchester, a major industrial city the British government wants to revitalize. Britain is committed to work with China on the Belt and Road initiative and plans to attract Chinese capital to help with the revitalization program.
ELEVATED PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE EXCHANGES
During his first state visit to the EU countries, the Chinese president said in his keynote speech at the College of Europe in Belgium’s Bruges that China and Europe need to build four “bridges” of peace, growth, reform and progress of civilization to step up friendship and cooperation.
On the bridge of common cultural prosperity linking the two major civilizations of China and Europe, Xi said China represents the Eastern civilization in an important way, while Europe is the birthplace of the Western civilization.
During his upcoming visit, Xi will take part in cultural activities to deepen the China-Britain friendship and promote bilateral exchanges. In recent years, the people-to-people exchanges, which play an important role in the China-Britain relationship, have been further enhanced.
This year marks the first “China-UK Cultural Exchange Year”, with both sides holding various activities in the other country, forming a bigger platform for the cultural creative industries in both countries as well as providing opportunities for people from both countries to enjoy literature and art works and communicate with each other.
While there are around 150,000 Chinese students studying in Britain, there are 6,000 British students studying in China. According to a British report, China has become the largest source of overseas students in Britain.
In the meantime, Britain is experiencing a “Mandarin fever,” with over 20 Confucius Institutes being established in 10 years, ranking the first among EU countries. Enditem