(Xinhuanet) Chinese President Xi Jinping starts his state visit to the United Kingdom (UK) and Northern Ireland on October 19. This is a Chinese President's first state visit to the UK in a decade.
2015 marks the first year of the second decade of the Sino-British comprehensive strategic partnership. Bilateral relations have shown positive momentum, along with new and important development opportunities.
Xi's visit demonstrates that China has opened a golden era for Sino-British relations.
Buckingham Palace is well-decorated. Chequers villa is enjoying a fantastic autumn. London is eagerly anticipating Xi’s visit. The British royal family and British government will greet Xi.
It has captured the world's attention. Xi will hold in-depth exchange of views with British leaders on major international and regional issues, set new perspectives for bilateral relations, and develop targets and plans.
Xi will also attend economic, trade cooperation, and cultural exchange activities. He will deliver a speech to the British Parliament, City of London and other key places.
The visit will open a new chapter in the Sino-British comprehensive strategic partnership and promote bilateral relations that develop into a golden era with dazzling brilliance.
High-level welcome ceremonies show Sino-British relations' importance
A ceremonial welcome held by British Queen Elizabeth II for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan was held on October 20, On the beautiful day, there were 103 rounds of gun-fire salutes.
Afterwards, Xi Jinping and his wife had accompanied the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in a royal carriage procession to Buckingham Palace. They attended a luncheon hosted by the Queen.
In the Afternoon, Xi delivered a speech in the Royal Gallery of the British Parliament. He and his wife later visited the Art Institute of tradition, joined by Prince William and his wife, the two couples drank tea.
In the evening, Xi and his wife attended a grand state banquet held by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Global media outlets said the British royal family has greeted the Chinese leader with the highest level of diplomatic courtesy.
The British royal family, its government and citizens support stronger Sino-British relations. The United Kingdom hopes to deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership of the two coutnries.
Gun salutes on the Thames River in Great Britain had opened a prelude to Xi’s arrival. Red carpets in Buckingham Palace symbolize a solid groundwork for bilateral relations. Sino-British cooperation is bound to promote world peace, stability and prosperity.
Xi and Cameron meeting steers Sino-British relations
On October 21, Chinese President Xi Jinping held bilateral talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street, marking the highlight of Xi’s UK visit.
The two leaders discussed major issues of substance, which had also occurred during their Beijing meeting in December 2013 and the Hague meeting in Netherlands, March 25, 2014.
They had an in-depth exchange of views on international and regional issues of common concern to enhance mutual trust and consensus. They outlined plans to open a golden era for Sino-British relations.
China and the UK are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. As two major economies in the world, both play irreplaceable roles in international and regional affairs.
In recent years, the British government led by David Cameron has stood by positive and pragmatic diplomacy with Beijing. They welcome the rise of China.
Cameron has pledged that the UK will act as the strongest supporter for China in the Western world.
The second decade of Sino-British comprehensive strategic partnership is entering an essential moment. Chinese and British leaders should adapt to the times, work together to plan for bilateral pragmatic cooperation.
People are convinced that the Xi and Cameron meeting is very significant, which will lay a foundation to build better bilateral relations. The golden era of Sino-British relations will have a splendid future.
Xi and Cameron meeting writes a new chapter in Sino-British relations
On October 22, the fourth day of President Xi Jinping's UK visit, he visited the satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat, and attended the opening ceremony of an annual meeting of Confucius Institutes in Britain. Afterward, Xi and Cameron met at Cameron's country retreat, Chequers, which was the starting point of Xi and Cameron private meetings.
Xi is the first Chinese leader to be invited to visit Chequers, marking the start of a new chapter in Sino-British diplomacy.
Xi and Cameron's meeting is a significant part of Xi’s UK visit, and high-level hospitality has been accorded. Such hospitality highlights the host’s good intentions, and reflects the close relationships between the leaders and peoples of the two countries.
More importantly, having a private meeting in Chequers allows more intimate conversation. Guests and hosts can communicate in more relaxed and sincere atmosphere. Deeper and broader talks could inject new momentum into Sino-British relations.
The formal talks at 10 Downing Street and a private meeting in Chequers highlight that Sino-British relation differ from the past.
Some media believe that against the backdrop of building a Sino-British global and comprehensive strategic partnership in the 21st century, Xi and Cameron meeting will become a landmark in Sino-British diplomacy and will be the best opening chapter for a golden era of Sino-British relations.
Xi ends UK visit with promises to open “golden era”
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday ended a UK visit that Prime Minister David Cameron hopes will unleash a wave of investment from the world’s second largest economy.
“We will build a global, comprehensive strategic partnership between our countries in the 21st century and jointly open up a golden era,” Xi said .
Following discussions on $68 billion bilateral deals, a landmark nuclear deal was also inked through which China’s General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) will take a one-third stake in the planned 18 billion-pound ($28 billion) Hinkley Point nuclear plant.
The Chinese firm will also take a two-thirds stake in the Bradwell nuclear plant east of London, where it plans to build a Chinese-designed reactor, and a one-fifth stake in a project for Areva -designed reactors at the Sizewell plant.
Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan stayed at Buckingham Palace in London as the guests of Queen Elizabeth II, who hosted a grand ceremonial welcome for the couple, gave a private lunch and a formal state banquet with the attendance of senior members of the royal family.
The trip also took Xi to the old industrial city of Manchester in northern England.
Deals signed during Xi’s trip included a $10 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply deal between BP and China’s Huadian power producer, a 2.6 billion pound deal with Carnival Corp to make new cruise ships, and a 1.4 billion pound deal between Rolls-Royce and HNA Group.
Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a banquet held by British Queen Elizabeth II at the Buckingham Palace in London Oct. 20, 2015 .
[Comments by Xu Xiujun, associate researcher with the Institute of World Economy and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; comics drawn by Li Min]