Golden Era of China-U.K. Relations
As Queen Elizabeth II and President Xi Jinping waved to welcoming crowds from the glittering Diamond Jubilee State Coach, China-U.K. ties appropriately entered a “golden era.”
The Chinese president’s latest visit reconfirmed that the U.K. now needs China, whose GDP is triple-to-quadruple its own, more than ever before. The Financial Times said Xi’s visit was the “most important diplomatic visit to Britain in several years,” and would “recalibrate the U.K.’s great-power relations.”
This so-called “super state visit” yielded impressive outcomes – economic and trade deals worth a record ₤ 40 billion. Notable among them is China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding’s coinvestment and one-third stake in the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, the first nuclear power project in the U.K. for 20 years or more.
President Xi said that, in the fields of sports, education, tourism, film and TV, the essence of Chinese and British cultures has produced a fantastic “chemical reaction” in their respective peoples’ ways of thinking and lifestyle.
Unlike China-U.S. ties, which are comparatively prudent and nuanced, the China-U.K. amity is forthright and salient. China and the U.K. discussed for weeks an appropriate definition for current bilateral ties, according to the Financial Times. China first described 2015 as a “big year” for ties. U.K. officials then countered with a “golden year.” By the time PM David Cameron spoke to Premier Li Keqiang over the phone, however, he had upgraded the term to “golden era.”