May praises Golden Era of Sino-UK re­la­tions

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By CONAL URQUHART in London Conal@mail.chi­nadai­

Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May on Mon­day praised the United King­dom’s re­la­tion­ship with China in a far-rang­ing speech on for­eign pol­icy de­liv­ered in London.

Speak­ing to busi­ness lead­ers at the Lord Mayor of London’s ban­quet, May said that the UK would in­crease its in­vest­ment in Asia and sin­gled out China as a strate­gic and eco­nomic part­ner.

“I am com­mit­ted to main­tain­ing the Golden Era of our re­la­tion­ship with China — not just as a vi­tal trad­ing part­ner but also as a fel­low per­ma­nent mem­ber of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil whose de­ci­sions to­gether with ours will shape the world around us,” she said.

“And I am com­mit­ted to deep­en­ing our part­ner­ships with coun­tries across Asia, where I be­lieve that Bri­tain’s global of­fer can have a hugely ben­e­fi­cial im­pact in en­sur­ing that the re­gion’s po­ten­tial is fully re­al­ized.”

The speech al­lowed May to escape from her do­mes­tic po­lit­i­cal wor­ries to ad­dress is­sues such as the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea, the sit­u­a­tion in Myan­mar and Rus­sia’s han­dling of the Crimea is­sue.

May has re­cently lost two cab­i­net min­is­ters in sep­a­rate scan­dals and now faces the dif­fi­cult task of push­ing leg­is­la­tion re­lat­ing to the UK’s de­par­ture from the EU through the Par­lia­ment over the next two months.

But she was able to step away from her do­mes­tic dif­fi­cul­ties and de­liver a con­fi­dent speech in which she em­pha­sized how close the UK was to the coun­tries it is about to leave in the EU.

“For we re­main a Euro­pean na­tion — our his­tory marked by shared ex­pe­ri­ence, our so­ci­eties shaped by com­mon values, our economies in­ter­de­pen­dent, and our se­cu­rity in­di­vis­i­ble,” she said.

May em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of free trade and open mar­kets to the UK. “Where open mar­kets thrive and the rule of law holds sway, Bri­tish com­pa­nies pros­per. And they take in their DNA a way of do­ing busi­ness that brings not only com­mer­cial but wider ben­e­fits — of good gov­er­nance, re­spect for the law, cor­po­rate and so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity,” she said.

The prime min­is­ter was warmly ap­plauded. It may be some time be­fore she faces an equally ap­pre­cia­tive au­di­ence as she tries to lead her weak govern­ment through the quag­mire of Brexit.

I am com­mit­ted to deep­en­ing our part­ner­ships with coun­tries across Asia.”

Theresa May,

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