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

Report of NK’s ‘undisclosed’ missile bases not new, S. Korea says

South Korea’s presidential office on Tuesday played down a new report on North Korea’s “undisclosed” missile sites. South Korea’s government said that it’s going too far to call the North’s continued activity a “great deception” given that it has no specific agreement to dismantle or disclose the facilities mentioned in the report issued by Beyond Parallel, a group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The group said it has located 13 out of an estimated 20 missile operating bases undeclared by the secretive communist regime. “The dispersed deployment of these bases and distinctive tactics employed by ballistic missile units are combined with decades of extensive camouflage, concealment and deception practices to maximize the survival of its missile units from pre-emptive strikes and during wartime operations,” the report


By The Korea Herald
November 13, 2018

Diplomacy, Economics

‘Forced repatriation’ to pose security risk

International crisis warns that forced repatriation of Rohingya refugees could pose serious security risks. The International Crisis Group has warned of serious security risks of “forced repatriation” of the Rohingya, just as Myanmar and Bangladesh prepare for the November 15 return of the refugees sheltered in Bangladesh. In a statement, the Brussels-based global advocacy body said Rohingyas strongly opposed the repatriation move and would do whatever they can to resist it. “This [forced repatriation] will increase tension in the camps and could lead to confrontations between refugees and Bangladesh security forces and greatly complicate humanitarian operations. “A botched repatriation attempt could potentially set back peace and development efforts by years,” said the statement released yesterday. It comes two weeks after Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to begin the repatriation


By Daily Star
November 13, 2018

Diplomacy, Economics

Suu Kyi stripped of Amnesty honour

The Amnesty International has stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest honour, the latest of several honours taken away from her since last year’s brutal military crackdown on the Rohingyas. This is the eighth honour that the former Nobel peace prizewinner has been stripped of over the past year, with Amnesty following the example of Canada, US Holocaust Museum, UK’s Edinburgh, Oxford, Glasgow and Newcastle and Canada’s Carleton Universities which also revoked Suu Kyi’s honorary degrees and awards. The long-celebrated Nobel Laureate was given Amnesty’s most prestigious honour, the Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2009 marking the 20th anniversary of her arrest and 20 years since it declared her a prisoner of conscience. The AI yesterday announced withdrawal of its highest honour fr


By Daily Star
November 13, 2018

Diplomacy, Economics

Kim Jong-un’s Seoul visit unlikely this year: experts

Stalled talks between Pyongyang and Washington likely cause for deceleration of diplomacy. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s visit to Seoul appears to be less likely to take place this year without more progress in stalled denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington, experts said Sunday. South Korea’s Moon Jae-in administration is pushing to hold the fourth inter-Korean summit between Moon and Kim in Seoul within the year, in the hope of facilitating a breakthrough in the deadlocked US-North Korea talks. One of the unexpected achievements from the third summit, which was held in September in Pyongyang, was the North Korean leader’s promise to visit Seoul within the year. President Moon said at his speech at the National Assembly earlier this month that Kim’s visit to Seoul will take place in the near future. Unification Minister Cho Myong-gyon said Friday at a parliamentary se


By Cod Satrusayang
November 12, 2018

Diplomacy, Economics

US calls on China to remove missiles from Spratly Islands

For the first time, the United States called on China to remove missiles it deployed on three fortified outposts it built in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. The United States called on China to withdraw its missile systems from disputed features in the Spratly Islands, and reaffirmed that all countries should avoid addressing disputes through coercion or intimidation,” the Department of State released in a statement on Saturday (Philippine time) after the high-level US-China diplomatic and security dialogue in Washington. Both US and China committed to supporting peace and stability in the South China Sea, the peaceful resolution of disputes, and freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea in accordance with international law during the dialogue, it added.


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
November 12, 2018

Diplomacy, Economics

Thailand’s KBank to launch e-wallet, invests $50 million US in Grab Taxi

Grab on Thursday announced a partnership with Thailand’s Kasikornbank to launch mobile payment application GrabPay by KBank. The mobile wallet, which is slated to be launched as soon as early 2019, will allow Grab customers to pay for transport and delivery services, transfer funds, purchase products and services online, and make QR-code payments in restaurants and shops across Thailand. Through Thailand’s national e-payments scheme called PromptPay, all three million QR-enabled merchants in the country will be able to accept GrabPay by KBank.


By The Straits Times
November 9, 2018