On China visit, Britain's May focused on post-Brexit future

On China visit, Britain's May focused on post-Brexit future

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday pledged to challenge Beijing to stick to worldwide trade rules and tackle the dumping of cheap Chinese steel as she makes her first visit to the country as prime minister.

Speaking ahead of her departure on Tuesday, Mrs May said her trip would intensify the "golden era" in China-UK relations following President Xi Jinping's state visit to Britain in 2015.

"As the United Kingdom forges a new global trading future, it is well ahead of the curve in making the most of its relationship with the world's fastest growing economy". "China is a country that we want to do a trade deal with", she said.

"The UK and China will not always see eye-to-eye".

Human Rights Watch also urged the British leader to "get tough with China" on rights. "I will be raising both human rights and the issue of Hong Kong". "We believe that the future of Hong Kong - that "One Country, Two Systems" future - is important and we are committed to that". I've raised this in the past with President Xi, and he's shown commitment to that.

China also has high expectations that London will endorse its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a massive infrastructure project aimed at reviving ancient Silk Road trade routes between the East and West and creating greater market access for Chinese companies. She has been accused by eurosceptics of watering down Brexit, by pro-EU lawmakers risking Britain's economy, and by others who say her domestic agenda is too timid.

"One of the things the prime minister will be focusing on this visit is looking at the scope to work with China, as China opens up its markets, to move towards a more ambitious trading relationship with China", Woodward told reporters.

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Among the educational initiatives being announced in Wuhan were an extension to 2020 of an exchange scheme which will see nearly 200 English maths teachers visit China, a new "English is Great" campaign to promote English language learning and an agreement on joint training of pre-school staff. May's meetings will show whether the United Kingdom has achieved its previously stated goal of becoming China's closest partner among Western countries, the ministry said. "What I would like to see is to ensure there is transparency and worldwide standards being adhered to and that's something I'll be discussing with my Chinese interlocutors", she said.

China and the United Kingdom "will not always see eye to eye", Theresa May warned last night as she prepared to challenge China on steel dumping and its investment initiative connecting Asia with eastern Europe.

She highlighted three areas of cooperation, namely: trade, building an open global economy which is suitable to the 21st Century and working together as permanent members of the U.N. Security Council to tackle a range of global challenges, including climate change.

"So we will continue to look at what more can be done to tackle global overcapacity in sectors such as steel, ..." Nor was it amused by the postponements of Mrs May's planned visit; a previous date was scrubbed because the British Premier chose to hold a snap election, while a rescheduling to November a year ago fell through because Britain was planning to host US President Donald Trump.

"In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defence".

Mr Trump said: "Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups and rivals like China and Russian Federation that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values".

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