BEIJING - State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Britain's Secretary of State for Foreign Commonwealth and Development Affairs Liz Truss vowed to deepen mutual understanding and cooperation between the two countries.
In a telephone conversation with the new British foreign secretary on Oct 22, Wang said China and Britain are both permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, and the development of China-Britain relations goes beyond the bilateral scope and has a crucial impact on regional and international situations.
The two countries should maintain strategic communication, deepen mutual understanding, jointly manage differences, and push forward a healthy and stable development of bilateral ties, Wang said, adding that doing so not only serves the fundamental interests of the two countries, but also meets the common expectation of the international community.
Noting that it is normal for China and Britain to differ on some issues, as they have different history, culture and development paths, Wang said both sides need to carry out dialogue based on mutual respect and tolerance, seek common ground while reserving differences, strive to create positive momentum in bilateral relations, and provide a consistent outlook for the wider world.
The two economies are obviously complementary, with great potential for cooperation, Wang said, noting that the bilateral trade is expected to exceed $100 billion this year.
Chinese and British businesses are willing to engage in mutual investment, and there are broad prospects for bilateral cooperation in such fields as modern financial services, clean energy and digital economy, he said.
If sustained, such bilateral cooperation will surely provide strong support for the respective national development strategies of China and Britain, he said.
China supports Britain in hosting the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26), and hopes that the conference can achieve positive results, he said.
Wang said China has serious concerns over the establishment of the tripartite security partnership among the United States, Britain and Australia (AUKUS), and over their nuclear-powered submarine cooperation.
This is the first time that a nuclear-weapon state has transferred nuclear-powered submarines to a non-nuclear-weapon state and offered it highly enriched uranium without being subject to international supervision and verification, which is bound to constitute a serious risk of nuclear proliferation, he said.
Wang stressed that the creation of a new military bloc in the region will trigger arms race, provoke confrontation between major countries, and undermine regional peace and stability, saying that the Chinese side opposes AUKUS, and urges the British side to handle the issue cautiously and think twice before any further action.
For her part, Truss said that for Britain and China, both permanent members of the UN Security Council, it is important to maintain regular communication.
The two countries should strengthen high-level exchanges and strategic communication, deepen mutual understanding and practical cooperation in various fields, and promote the development of their bilateral relations, she said.
Noting that climate change is a key field of cooperation between the two sides, Truss said Britain is willing to strengthen cooperation with China to ensure COP26 a success.
She also explained and elaborated on AUKUS.