UK Economics

Philip Hammond: UK will pursue stronger China ties

BEIJING, CHINA – MAY 14: Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond speaks during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on May 14, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Pool/Getty Images)

Britain is a ‘natural partner’ for China in the West, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer said.

Britain wants to build stronger ties with China as it prepares to leave the EU and will strongly support the Beijing-led “One Belt One Road” initiative to build better infrastructure connections and economic ties between Asia and Europe, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said Sunday.

“Britain, lying at the Western end of the Belt and Road, is a natural partner in this endeavor,” Hammond said in a speech at the “One Belt One Road” forum in Beijing, according to his official remarks.

“As we embark on a new chapter in our history, as we leave the European Union, we want to maintain a close and open trading partnership with our European neighbors but at the same time, it is our ambition to secure free trade agreements around the world with new partners and old allies alike.”

“Our ambition is for more trade, not less,” he added. “China clearly shares that ambition.”

Hammond’s remarks betrayed no sign of worry or concern. But the U.K. is facing serious economic peril and uncertainty as a result of Brexit. The challenges are compounded by the fact that according to the EU treaties, the U.K. is legally prohibited from unilaterally pursuing new trade agreements while it is still a member of the EU.

Nonetheless, laying the groundwork for a bilateral accord with China, the world’s second-largest economy, has become an urgent priority for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and her government.

And Hammond was clearly on a charm offensive Sunday as he praised Chinese President Xi Jinping’s efforts to better connect the two continents.

“As President Xi has said, the initiative must ‘follow the principle of wide consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefit,’” Hammond said. “I agree.”

Noting that Asia’s infrastructure needs $26 trillion in spending by 2030, Hammond said, “The U.K. can be a natural partner in delivering this infrastructure, supporting the finance, design, and delivery needed to make President Xi’s vision a reality.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his own speech at the forum, threw Moscow’s full support behind Xi’s initiative. Putin also laced his remarks with criticism of protectionism and the current global economic order, a thinly veiled rebuke of U.S. President Donald Trump.

“The risks of a disrupted global economic and technological space are becoming increasingly obvious,” Putin said, according to a Kremlin transcript of his remarks.

“Protectionism is becoming a common practice that manifests itself in unilateral illegitimate restrictions, including how technology is supplied and distributed,” he said. “The ideas of openness, freedom of trade are often rejected even by those who supported them so vigorously in the past.”

One comment

  • Nasrul Isa Isa
    15th May 2017 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    Philip Hammond: UK will pursue stronger China ties

    It sounds very promising and looks fair in a free trade bond. But what will happen is a two-way trade seduction will eventually druggle all of China’s trading partners, and will end up at the point where the justice of this one plate relationship is far away. Why …… ?, Culture ….. Invites China to eat on a single plate, it means China will definitely take the benefits of its part without any remaining, while the British culture makes it impossible to eat all its parts until To the bones of the dish with one plate. Chinese trading methods and systems have been successful in Africa, western Asia and Latin America, now China has panetrated with Indonesia. If the west is like the Lion, China and the same country ideology with China like Heina. In essence for economic affairs, in the world there have been economic animals that are driven by the spirit of ideological symbol (feels less fit as well) Capitalist and Communist. The next five to ten years (if the world does not explode), religion will emerge as the third symbol will make a form (due to hunger and exhaustion of potential), eventually the religious symbol will swallow the other two symbols (either pure or not coming from consciousness Pure as a created being). Oh yes, maybe there is also correlation, If China succeeds in inviting Indonesia to eat in one plate, Capitalist have no place, specially in Asean, ….. the possibility of EU will invade China through door opened by England. May I be wrong, because the end is a war. thanks.

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