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China, UK hold major summit on bilateral ties

State Councilor Yang Jiechi and British Foreign Secretary William Hague held the China-UK strategic dialogue in London on Friday and exchanged views on the long-term issues involving bilateral relations and the crises in Syria and the Ukraine.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the partnership between China and the UK, said Yang, who added that political mutual trust is the prerequisite and foundation for the two countries’ exchanges and cooperation.

He said both sides can advance cooperation through dialogue and jointly contribute to world peace and development.

Hague said the two countries have a lot to offer each other.

“The UK has expertise in areas such as healthcare, low-carbon technology, education and professional services, which can support China’s planned reforms,” Hague said. “Equally, as Chinese companies look to build global brands, the UK’s open business environment and culture of innovation offers them a major opportunity.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron also met Yang on Thursday and said the UK will keep closer high-level exchanges with China, expand cooperation and exchanges, and strengthen coordination in international and regional affairs.

Britain will also promote EU-China relations, Cameron said.

Yang said China will work with Britain to enhance mutual understanding and political trust, promote pragmatic cooperation, strengthen coordination and cooperation and promote bilateral relations to a new level.

“Mutual understanding is the most important aspect of China-UK relations. Friday’s high-level strategic dialogue will help enhance political trust and understanding,” said Yao Shujie, head of the school of contemporary Chinese studies at Nottingham University in the UK.

The two countries both wield great influence on regional and international affairs, Yao said. He added that the dialogue will likely expand cooperation between China and the UK and with Europe.

Yang’s tour also includes stops in France and the Netherlands.