See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Economics

China hopes to capitalize on UK exit from the Eurozone

With the UK set to exit the Eurozone, Beijing is hoping that its goods and services can penetrate a market once marked by heavy regulation.


Written by

Updated: March 8, 2018

The United Kingdom and the European Union are currently in negotiations over what a post-Brexit Europe will entail. The UK is due to leave the Eurozone by March 2019.

Hoping to fill that void, Beijing is courting the UK with its goods and services and the promise of new markets throughout Asia.

Bilateral trade between the two countries increased by 6.2% over the previous year and stood at over $79 billion, with British export to China up by nearly 20% in 2017.

In the same year, Chinese investors brought nearly $1.5 billion into the UK with investments throughout the country and not just major metropolitan areas.

Trade and economic cooperation has expanded from traditional areas such as processing, manufacturing, energy and telecommunications to new and high-tech industries such as new energy, fintech and AI (artificial intelligence).

Major cooperation projects, including the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant and the ABP Royal Albert Dock, went smoothly.

China’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Liu Xiaoming, at a recent luncheon for the banking community in London, hailed the new ‘golden era’ between the two countries.

“In the UK, the negotiations to leave the EU marked the beginning of a new historic stage of “global Britain,” he said.

Both Liu and Beijing have been pushing for the United Kingdom to enter in to Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The United Kingdom became, under the May government, the second country to contribute to Beijing’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and also pledged 25 billion pounds sterling in support of Belt and Road Initiatives throughout Asia.

May and Xi

Both Theresa May and Xi Jinping have gone to great lengths to show there is room for potential cooperation and economic growth. Xi’s ambassadors and foreign ministry have repeatedly called on the United Kingdom to become a strategic partner in the Belt and Road Initiative.

May’s government, meanwhile, has used China’s seemingly limitless market and clout in Asia as a reason to leave the EU and its regulations and bylaws.

Earlier this year, May visited China on a three-day state visit. Observers in the region noticed that the prime minister left Hong Kong off her travel plan, something unfathomable two decades prior.

“May has clearly realized it is now wise to keep political relations with Beijing separate from commercial and cultural relations with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The success or failure of the Brexit project obviously depends on the UK strengthening her historic links to parts of the world outside Europe, and becoming once again a major maritime trading power,” said former British diplomat Tim Collard.

Intellectual and Practical

In the buildup to Brexit, both countries have initiated forums and think tanks to address areas of cooperation. British academics from the University of Birmingham and other red-brick universities have visited China and made statements supportive of China’s growing role in the world ahead of the 19th national congress of China.

Julian Beer, deputy vice-chancellor at Birmingham City University, said, “The way President Xi Jinping has conceptually articulated China’s version of socialism and reinterpreted it for the future is a helpful glimpse into the way China views its role in the world, both now and going into the future.”

A separate forum held at Cambridge, UK in March 2018, focused on ways both countries can contribute to build better human settlement environments. A joint declaration was made, titled the Cambridge Manifesto, and focused on several joint projects, including bringing UK city designers to Chinese cities like Shenzhen and Chongqing to help develop sustainable residential communities.

In Universities across Britain, the number of Chinese academic continues to grow. There are currently more than 6,000 Chinese scholars working in more than 150 British universities, with over 500 professors and a number of fellows, says Wang Yongli, minister counselor for education at the Chinese embassy in London. But just 20 years ago, it was hard to find even one Chinese professor working in the UK, says Wang.

Professor G.Q. Max Lu, vice-chancellor of the University of Surrey, said that overseas Chinese academics should give full play to their advantages to promote exchanges between China and the West.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Cod Satrusayang
About the Author: Cod Satrusayang is the Managing Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Economics

Premier Li announces slew of measures to fight virus in a top-level meeting

Premier Li Keqiang presided over the meeting of the leading group of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on coping with the novel coronavirus, a pneumonia-causing virus, in Beijing. Li is head of the group. China will adopt a host of measures including delaying and reducing conferences and major events, extending the Spring Festival holiday and supporting work online to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to a decision released at a high-level meeting on Sunday. Premier Li Keqiang presided over the meeting of the leading group of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on coping with the novel coronavirus, a pneumonia-causing virus, in Beijing. Li is head of the group. The group was established after a meeting of the St


By China Daily
January 27, 2020

Diplomacy, Economics

Wuhan virus: China locks down five cities at epicentre of outbreak

Move to curb virus’ spread across world comes as experts race to crack its code. China has taken the unprecedented move of locking down cities at the heart of a new Sars-like outbreak that has spread swiftly across provinces and the world, killing at least 17 and infecting more than 630. In a dramatic effort to curb the sweep of the mutating virus, officials in Wuhan announced at midnight on Wednesday that the city, where the mystery coronavirus originated last month in a wet market that sold live animals, was being sealed off. Last night, the authorities in the surrounding cities of Huanggang, Ezhou, Chibi and Xiantao in the same Hubei province in central China also imposed travel restrictions. The toughest measures were taken in Huanggang, where


By The Straits Times
January 24, 2020

Diplomacy, Economics

New coronavirus cases rise to 571 in Chinese mainland

China’s National Health Commission said cases of the new coronavirus pneumonia disease rose to 571 on the Chinese mainland as of Wednesday midnight, including 95 in critical condition, and fatalities rose to 17,  on Thursday morning. Latest on pneumonia epidemic: Cases of the new coronavirus pneumonia disease rose to 571 on the Chinese mainland as of Wednesday midnight, including 95 in critical condition, and fatalities rose to 17, China’s National Health Commission said on Thursday morning. In addition, 393 suspected cases were reported as of Wednesday midnight. All the reported deaths were in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak. Outside the mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan each confirmed one case.


By China Daily
January 23, 2020

Diplomacy, Economics

Strictest measures enacted to contain viral pneumonia in China

As the pathogen continues to spread, the strictest prevention and control measures are being adopted by the Chinese health authorities for the new strain of coronavirus that has caused a pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan. Chinese health authorities are adopting the strictest prevention and control measures for the new strain of coronavirus that has caused a pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei province, as the pathogen continues to spread. On Monday, 77 new confirmed cases of the virus — 2019-nCoV — were reported on the Chinese mainland, bringing the total number of confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland to 291, six of whom died, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday afternoon. Among the new cases, 72 were reported in Hubei province, two in Shanghai a


By China Daily
January 22, 2020

Diplomacy, Economics

Wuhan virus: China confirms human-to-human transmission, says medical workers infected

China’s health commission said on Monday (Jan 20)  that medical workers have been infected by the deadly coronavirus first discovered in the central city of Wuhan, confirming it can be transmitted between people. “The current situation is that it is no longer animal to human transmission, but human to human,” said Chinese pulmonologist Zhong Nanshan, who discovered the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) coronavirus in 2003 and now heads an expert panel under the health commission. He cited a case in Guangdong, where the patient had not been to Wuhan but caught the virus from a family member. Dr Zhong also said 14 medical personnel helping with coronavirus patients have been infected by one carrier. “The key to controlling the spread o


By The Straits Times
January 21, 2020

Diplomacy, Economics

Trump invites Asean leaders, including Duterte, to summit in US

Donald Trump, the US President has invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and 11 other leaders of the Asean to a summit to be held in Las Vegas in March. US President Donald Trump has invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and 11 other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to a summit to be held in Las Vegas in March. “The invitation was first conveyed during the Asean-US meeting at the Asean Summit and related summits in Bangkok last November. The United States then reiterated its invitation through a letter dated Jan. 9, 2020,”the Palace said. The Palace also released a copy of Trump’s letter to the Asean leaders dated Nov. 1, given during last year’s Asean summit in Bangkok. “I would also like


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 20, 2020