Xi's visit very important step in development of China-UK ties -- UK official

Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Britain is a very important step forward on the basis of what had been building for the relationship of China and Britain, an official said Tuesday.

In an interview with Xinhua on the eve of President Xi's attendance at a state banquet at the City of London, a part of the metropolis of London, Alderman Alan Yarrow, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, said that he is very much looking forward to seeing President Xi.


Yarrow said he is impressed by the rapid development of the Chinese economy and its going-out strategy that further connects the world's second-largest economy with the rest of the world in trade, investment and financial flows.

"It is undoubtedly for me that it has been one of the most stunning economic stories that the world has seen that how China forth its way through the course of the last 15 years, and consequently we need to be involved in this process," he said.

"With a population of 65 million people in the small island of Europe, we do something like 44 percent foreign exchange turnover, and we are the largest international capital market. We by definition have to be involved with emerging economies around the world, and China by far the largest."

In an article published Monday on the City A.M., a London-based daily newspaper, Yarrow said: "As China continues on its path to becoming a modern, globalized economy, the UK is proud to enter a new golden era in our partnership for growth and prosperity."

"Two thousand years ago, Chinese merchants journeyed thousands of miles to bring silk to London. Now they are bringing steel, but it has always been the flow of financial and human capital which changes the future of continents," he said.


The mayor believed that the Chinese delegation will seal multiple deals in various fields during Xi's state visit.

"I see President Xi's visit here is very much as a standard approval of the relationship of China and UK. That is why this visit is so critical,"

he said.

"This 'Golden Era,' which we are going into, is there, because everything has been done in the process term in a right way, along with the state visit in the top. So that is very exciting, it is exciting for us, as well as for China," he said.

The Ministry of Commerce of China said Tuesday that multiple deals in various fields are expected to be signed during President Xi's visit to Britain.

Enterprises from both countries face many opportunities in infrastructure construction, citing China's "Belt and Road" initiative and Britain's Northern Powerhouse project, a regional development plan of Britain, said the ministry.

On the same day, the British Prime Minister's Office announced that more than 30 billion pounds (46.5 billion U.S. dollars) worth of trade and investment deals will be completed in Xi's state visit this time.


Yarrow said the internationalization progress of the renminbi, the Chinese currency, has been "extraordinarily well."

"When you start to internationalize the currency, it is critical it is done in a very predictable manner. And I think China has approached that whole internationalization of RMB very well," he said.

He also said that it will be step by step for the RMB to become one of the major reserve currencies in the world.

Processes like the inclusion of the RMB as a component of currency basket for Special Drawing Rights of the International Monetary Fund cannot be done by only China itself, he said. China needs to have other people in supporting in doing it, and the City of London is willing to do so.

London is a hub for RMB business outside Asia. The city has offices of all five major Chinese banks and the City of London RMB initiative, the first clearing bank outside Asia for the RMB. The two countries have also signed the yuan-pound swap line, and witnessed the first non-Chinese sovereign RMB bond by the British government.

"We embrace the RMB, we offer it as an alternative method of financing and alternative means of exchange," he said.

According to a report published by the City of London in June, London's RMB overall trading volumes more than doubled in the year 2014, with average daily volumes reaching 61.5 billion U.S. dollars, nearly six times as large as those reported in the first survey in 2011.

Source: Xinhua