The Promise of Fruitful Sino-British Cooperation

Enhancing All-round Cooperation

Cooperation is growing between the U.K. and China in investment and finance. In April 2012, HSBC issued the first three-year RMB bond on the London Stock Exchange. The following year, the Bank of England signed an agreement with the People’s Bank of China to establish a reciprocal three-year sterling/RMB currency swap with a maximum value of RMB 200 billion, equivalent to £20 billion. In October 2013, China launched its first RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor exchange trade fund in London with an initial quota of RMB 80 billion. China also licensed HSBC to import gold. In December 2013, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to increase cooperation on bilateral investments. Chinese companies are escalating their international involvement, and five state-owned enterprises are now listed on the London Stock Exchange.

At the same time, culture, education, and science are key fields for bilateral cooperation. China and Britain have signed more than 20 agreements or memoranda on scientific and technological cooperation. The two countries hold active cultural exchanges and art exhibitions, and have established frameworks for cooperation on health, climate change, and wildlife protection. The U.K. is one of the first European countries to cooperate with China on education and to exchange mutual recognition of one another’s higher education diplomas. Over 600 British middle and primary schools teach Chinese, and China has set up 24 Confucius Institutes and 92 Confucius Classrooms in the U.K. Some 120,000 Chinese students are studying in the U.K., and more than 4,200 British students are studying in China. Britain has 12 cooperative education institutions and 218 cooperative education projects in China.


A Promising Future

China and the United Kingdom have unique advantages which offer promising prospects for deep cooperation in many areas. The world’s largest developing country, China is a stable society with abundant labor, with the biggest market and a healthy investment climate. Britain, one of the most developed countries with an attractive investment appeal, is convenient for trade and investment, and has a stable political environment and a well-developed service industry. In the future, China can learn from the U.K.’s global governance capabilities, while Britain can grasp the market opportunities provided by China’s rapid development.

As leading economic and trade powers, China and Britain should expand mutual contacts and cooperate in multilateral fields. Both countries have been leading economic powers and political giants. At present, China and Britain are the second and sixth largest economies as well as important destinations for foreign direct investment. The two countries can launch thorough and meaningful exchanges to jointly boost international agreements for mutual economic and environmental benefits.


HU JIANGYUN is a researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council.

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