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

US ready for talks with N. Korea, but not in a hurry

The State Department has responded to Kim Jong-un’s letter to President Trump. The US State Department said Wednesday that it is ready to hold working-level talks with North Korea on relinquishing its nuclear arsenal after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a letter to US President Donald Trump, the first direct contact between the two leaders in months. During a press briefing, US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus reaffirmed that the country is seeking to achieve lasting peace and the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. “Here at the State Department we are ready and willing to continue engagement on working-leve


By The Korea Herald
June 14, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

China acknowledges Pakistan’s efforts in ‘combating terrorism, extremism’

The foreign ministers of both countries made the statement after a bilateral visit. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday appreciated Pakistan’s efforts “in firmly combating terrorism and extremism”, noting that Islamabad had Beijing’s support in the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP), according to a joint statement issued by the two countries. Yi’s evaluation came following a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who is currently on an official tour of China. “The Chinese side called on the international community to view Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts and contributions in an objective and fair manner, and to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with Pakistan,” the joint statement read. Both sides also noted that it was a “diplomatic priority” to further strengthen the “all-weathe


By Dawn
June 14, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

No talks with Pakistan till it stops exporting terror, Modi says

Modi said India has not seen any change in Pakistan’s attitude on dealing with terrorism. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday made it clear to Chinese President Xi Jinping that there was no question of India resuming dialogue with Pakistan until Islamabad created an atmosphere free of terrorism in the region. At a meeting with the Chinese leader on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, Modi said India has not seen any change in Pakistan’s attitude on dealing with terrorism emanating from its soil. Making it abundantly clear to Beijing that India was committed to bilateral mechanism for resolving all issues with Pakistan, he said all efforts by New Delhi for peace with Islamabad had been derailed. Incidentally, the comments came when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was also in Bishkek for the SCO Summit. Briefing reporters o


By The Statesman
June 14, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Beijing slams unrest and backs HK govt’s use of lawful means to tackle it

Protests have shut down Hong Kong for the past several days before a government crackdown. Beijing yesterday condemned the unrest that broke out in Hong Kong over the city’s extradition Bill as an organised riot, and said it supported the local government’s use of lawful means to resolve the situation. Asked if the central government supported the use of rubber bullets and tear gas on protesters on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that mainstream public opinion in Hong Kong was against any act that undermines the city’s prosperity and stability. “Any civilised and lawful society will not tolerate the destruction of peace and tranquillity,” he said. “The Chinese central government strongly condemns all types of violence and supports the Hong Kong government to handle the matter according to the law.” Chinese state media


By The Straits Times
June 14, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Capitalizing on moderate Islam at Osaka’s G20 summit

Indonesia has a unique position among G20 countries. In an exclusive interview with The Jakarta Post on Tuesday, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo yet again demonstrated his disinterest in foreign affairs issues. This goes against the expectations of many Indonesian and foreign diplomats, who would like to see him build his own legacy in international diplomacy in his second term in office after focusing on domestic issues in his first term. Jokowi is slated to attend two summits this month, the biannual ASEAN Summit in Bangkok next week and the annual G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 28 and 29. When asked about his likely presence and personal involvement at international fora in his second term, Jokowi said he would be more focused on domestic issues. He said he only felt obliged to attend several unilateral meetings, such as the summits of G20 and ASEAN. “I think domest


By The Jakarta Post
June 13, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Chinese vessel abandons PH boat after collision

Chinese ships rammed a Philippines fishing boat in contested territory. A Chinese fishing vessel abandoned a sinking Philippine fishing boat after hitting it at Recto Bank in the South China Sea earlier this week, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana reported on Wednesday. Lorenzana condemned the hit-and-run and called for an investigation and diplomatic action. “We denounce the actions of the Chinese fishing vessel for immediately leaving the incident scene abandoning the 22 Filipino crewmen to the mercy of the elements,” he said in a statement. “We condemn in the strongest terms the cowardly action of the Chinese fishing vessel and its crew for abandoning the Filipino crew. This is not the expected action from a responsible and friendly people,” he said. Fled the scene The incident happened on Sunday night.


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
June 13, 2019