British prime minister calls for "stronger relationship" with China

Visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron Wednesday called for a "stronger relationship" with China, saying the rise of the nation is an opportunity to other countries.

"We want a stronger relationship with China. Stronger on trade, investment and dialogue," said Cameron while delivering a speech in Peking University.

While stressing the importance of trade, he said the great thing about the bilateral relationship is that it is not just confined to economic interaction.

"We have high-level dialogues on broad issues. We have a dialogue on strategic issues where we can talk about the problems of the world and a dialogue on trade and investment. I think it is important that we talk about all these issues and that we try to understand each other's values and interests. That's the way our relationship works and it works well," the prime minister said.

During Cameron's visit, the two countries held several high-level dialogues on finance, education and energy.

Cameron said he hopes China's fast development will drive comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.

"In the argument about how to see the rise of China, I say that it is an opportunity. I choose engagement not disengagement, dialogue not standoff, mutual benefit not zero-sum game, partnership, not protectionism," he said.

On his first visit to China since taking office in May, Cameron brought with him a delegation of historic scale. It included 50 British entrepreneurs eager to find opportunities in China's fast growing economy.

On Tuesday evening, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had an hour-long colloquium with the entrepreneurs after his talks with Cameron. Wen said China welcomes the entrepreneurs' expanded cooperation with the country.

"As China gets richer, it does not mean that the rest of the world will get poorer. It is simply not true that as China rises again, the world's other nations decline. Globalization is not a zero-sum game," Cameron said.

Cameron also said Britain and China share common interests in many fields, including in fighting protectionism and in enhancing China's integration into the world economy.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 10Nov10]

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