Brexit, Belt and Road on agenda for Theresa May’s China visit

World Today

British Prime Minister Theresa May (L) and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang leave after the inaugural meeting of the UK-China CEO Council at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on January 31, 2018. May is on a state visit to China as she seeks to bolster her country’s global trade links ahead of its departure from the European Union. ( AFP PHOTO / Mark Schiefelbein)

British Prime Minister Theresa May is meeting with Chinese government and business leaders in Beijing. May is on a three-day visit, which has already seen the signing of multiple business deals.

CGTN’s Su Yuting reports.

May’s trip marks the first annual China-U.K. Prime Ministers’ meeting, following President Xi Jinping’s historic state visit to the U.K. in 2015. It is also May’s first official visit to China since she took office, and the first by a British prime minister in four years.

May is accompanied by her husband Philip, and the leaders of 50 British businesses and commercial organizations. She is seeking a major economic partner for post-Brexit Britain, and looking to burnish the “golden era” between the U.K. and China.

Both sides held talks after the welcoming ceremony, agreeing to take their mutually-beneficial cooperation to a new level across various sectors under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Premier Li said this year marks China’s 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up, an in a prior report to the 19th CPC National Congress, Beijing said it will continue to open markets.

In a press conference after their talks, Li talked about the efforts that China and the U.K. will make in boosting economic globalization and fighting against protectionism.

Li and May also witnessed the signing of agreements covering trade and investment, financial services, scientific innovation, environmental protection, education and bio-science.

The two leaders also discussed Korean Peninsula tensions, climate change and global economic governance. Both China and the U.K. are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and the G20.

Professor Klaus Larres talks about British Prime Minister Teresa May’s visit to China

CGTN’S Mike Walter talks with Klaus Larres, professor of History & International Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about the political stakes for British Prime Minister Teresa May as she negotiates trade deals with China.