At the invitation of Her Majesty the Queen, President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to the UK in the golden month of October. This will be the first state visit by the Chinese president in ten years. It is expected to mark a new milestone and herald a 'golden time' for the China-UK relationship. It is also a major event in terms of its regional and global significance.
At the bilateral level, relations between China and Britain are showing strong momentum. With close contacts and exchanges at the top level and scores of bilateral mechanisms in place including the annual prime ministers' meeting, the economic and financial dialogue, the strategic dialogue and the high-level people-to-people dialogue, China and Britain are having in-depth talks on a series of important issues. The bilateral relationship enjoys unprecedented stability and maturity.The economic cooperation, trade, mutual investment and financial cooperation between China and Britain are solidly based. The respective strengths of the two countries dovetail perfectly, offering broad prospects for cooperation. Chinese investment in the UK in the past three years surpassed the total of the previous three decades. During President Xi's visit, the leaders of the two countries are expected to map out a long-term development blueprint for the bilateral ties. This will further deepen China-UK all-round cooperation and will make the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries stronger and more substantial.
At the regional level, Britain is a major country in Europe. It is the fastest growing of all key western economies. It is also an active advocator of reform and innovation within the European Union. As a firm believer in free trade and boasting of a high level of market openness, the UK is already China's second largest trading partner and No 1 destination of overseas investment in the EU. Britain has also responded positively to China's 'One Belt, One Road' initiative and taken the lead among western developed country in applying for a founding membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. As China commits itself to building with EU a partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization, and as China continues to support a prosperous and united Europe, China values the role of Britain in the EU. Chinese businesses that have established their regional headquarters here also value the UK as an economic and financial hub in Europe. A China-UK relationship that is entering a 'golden time' willbring new dynamism into China-EU relations, especially China-EU economic cooperation and trade.
On the global level, China and Britain were allies against the common enemy 70 years ago, supporting each other in the world war against the fascists. Seventy years on, China and the UK, as permanent members of the UN Security Council and countries with significant global influence, are working together to safeguard the post-war international order and to push for progress on a wide range of global and regional issues, including but not limited to Iran nuclear issue, epidemic diseases, climate change, international peace-keeping and sustainable development. China and the UK have upon their shoulders the important responsibility of safeguarding world peace, promoting development and advancing the wellbeing of all mankind. A China-UK relationship that is entering a 'golden time' will enable the two countries to expand their global and regional cooperation and to make greater contribution to world peace, stability and development.
Just as we Chinese say that 'a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step', British friends believe that 'actions speak louder than words'. Looking ahead, China is ready to join hands with the UK in taking concrete and innovative actions to embrace the 'golden time' of China-UK relationship.