China-UK relations have been 'seriously poisoned', Ambassador says

30 July 2020, 11:46

"Great Britain cannot be great without independent foreign policies" the Chinese Ambassador has said
"Great Britain cannot be great without independent foreign policies" the Chinese Ambassador has said. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Disputes between the UK and China over Hong Kong, tech giant Huawei and human rights abuses in Xinjiang have "seriously poisoned" relations between the two countries.

Beijing's ambassador to London Liu Xiaoming said the UK was at a "critical historical juncture" in how it wanted to treat China.

In an online press conference, Mr Liu said: "China respects UK sovereignty and has never interfered in the UK's internal affairs.

"It is important the UK will do the same - namely, respect China's sovereignty and stop interfering in Hong Kong's affairs, which are China's internal affairs, so as to avoid further damage to the China-UK relationship."

China's ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming has urged the Government to resist pressure from the US and hawkish politicians calling for a "decoupling" in relations with Beijing and Chinese businesses.

Without directly mentioning the US, Mr Liu said: "It's our hope that the UK would resist the pressure and coercion from a certain country and provide an open, fair, transparent and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese investment so as to bring back the confidence of Chinese businesses in the UK."

He added that once the Brexit and Covid-19 issues were dealt with "there will be unlimited prospects for China-UK co-operation in areas of trade, financial services, science and technology, education and healthcare".

"It is hard to imagine a global Britain that bypasses or excludes China," he said.

"Decoupling from China means decoupling from opportunities, decoupling from growth and decoupling from the future."

China's ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming said he hoped the two countries had "enough wisdom and capabilities" to manage their differences "rather than allowing anti-China forces and Cold War warriors to kidnap the China-UK relationship".

"Great Britain cannot be great without independent foreign policies," he said.

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