British PM Theresa May set to pay official visit to China

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 05:38 GMT, Jan 26, 2018 |

British Prime Minister Theresa May will pay an official visit to China from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying announced at a daily press briefing in Beijing on Thursday.

During the visit, May will co-host the bilateral annual prime ministerial meeting with her Chinese counterpart.

Hua recalled that the two countries have achieved new progress in strengthening bilateral ties over the past year.

“The past year of 2017 marked the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-UK diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level, and was also a year for the in-depth development of a ‘golden era’ for China-UK relations. When President Xi Jinping was in attendance at the G20 Hamburg summit, he held a successful meeting with Prime Minister May, and reached an important consensus on the next-stage development of China-UK relations. Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister May also exchanged congratulatory messages on the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-UK diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level, and reiterated their common aspirations of developing China-UK relations,” said the spokeswoman.

Hua said May’s upcoming visit is critical for advancing bilateral ties under the new circumstances.

“Prime Minister May’s visit to China will be the first annual prime ministerial meeting between the two sides after President Xi Jinping paid a historic state visit to the United Kingdom in 2015, during which the two sides declared to build a global comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st century and usher in a “golden era” for China-UK relations,” said Hua.

May will meet with Chinese leaders and exchange opinions on bilateral ties and international and regional issues. She will also travel to Shanghai and the central Chinese city of Wuhan, according to Hua.

“China attaches importance to the development of China-UK relations. We hope Prime Minister May’s upcoming visit to China will become an opportunity to deepen mutual political trust, expand mutually beneficial cooperation across the board, and further advance the China-UK global comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st century,” Hua said.

May last visited China in September 2016 when she traveled to east China’s Hangzhou for the leaders’ meeting of the G20 major economies.

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