Theresa May and Xi Jinping had a successful meeting today
President Xi told Theresa May that China’s markets would be further opened to the UK, including in sectors such as beef, dairy and other agricultural goods.
He said that, step by step, China and the UK had elevated their relationship and he looked forward to further building on its success.
The President quoted a line from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest to the Prime Minister, saying: “What’s past is prologue.”
Downing Street officials said Mrs May had told the President the visit had been “very successful” for the 50-strong business delegation which had accompanied her to China, with trade and investment deals for after Brexit worth at least £9billion to both countries expected to be signed.
Theresa May and her husband Phillip visited the Forbidden City
Since then I think we have indeed achieved a great deal in enhancing the links between our two countries both in terms of people links and also trading links we now see trade valued at nearly £60 billion, 600,000 visas issued to Chinese visitors to the U
She also raised her crusade to tackle the scourge of plastic waste polluting the world’s oceans, telling the Chinese President of the international “collective responsibility” to tackle the problem.
China is seen as one of the biggest sources of dumped plastic.
To drive home her point, she gave the president a DVD collection of the BBC’s Blue Planet series. It included a personal plea to President Xi for his country’s help in tackling the problem.
The series – credited with raising global awareness about plastic marine pollution – has been a massive hit in China, watched by more than 80 million viewers.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “The President and the PM discussed their shared commitment to protecting the environment, including their support for the Paris climate change agreement and determination to tackle the ivory and illegal wildlife trades.
“The PM said the world had a collective responsibility to tackle plastic pollution on behalf of future generations. She pointed to the work which was being done in China to remove plastic particles from the Yangtzse river to stop them from flowing into the ocean.”
The two leaders discussed North Korea and their shared determination to bring to an end To the rogue regime’s illegal nuclear activity.
The spokesman added: “The PM and President agreed the importance of having frank conversations in areas where the two countries do not see eye to eye, and looked forward to further deepening their ties in the ‘golden era’, including in areas such as culture and education.”
Theresa May and President Xi spoke of a ‘golden age’ of relations between the two nations
The two leaders met at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in a park in Beijing.
After shaking hands for the cameras, the two leaders sat with their delegations on opposite sides of a large conference table.
Mr Xi spoke first, but no English translation was provided.
Mrs May responded: “I’m delighted to be in China again but particularly pleased to be here on my first official visit as prime minister.
“May I also convey to you the personal best wishes to yourself and to Madame Peng from Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.
The PM, President Xi, and partners enjoyed a tea ceremony
“In 2015 you paid a very successful state visit to the United Kingdom and it was then that the golden era of UK-China relations was established.
“Since then I think we have indeed achieved a great deal in enhancing the links between our two countries both in terms of people links and also trading links we now see trade valued at nearly £60 billion, 600,000 visas issued to Chinese visitors to the United Kingdom.
“I welcome the investment that has been made in the United Kingdom but also the growing trade links that we have between our two countries.
“I’ve been pleased to bring a very large business delegation here. We’ve had a very successful visit.
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“But as you say the links between us go beyond trade. I’m very pleased with the people to people links we have been able to build on in education and in culture too.
“Also as you say we are both significant players on the world stage of outward looking countries.
“And as we both sit together as permanent members of the security council of the united nations, there are global challenges which we both face, as do others in the world.
“As you say, there are areas in which we can work together.
“I’m very pleased to be able to be here in China, to take further forward the global strategic partnership that we have established between the United Kingdom and China.”