The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, today (Monday 30th July) began his first major international trip since his appointment, visiting Beijing to meet his Chinese counterpart and further enhance UK-China relations.
Foreign Secretary Hunt’s trip will build on the successful visit by the Prime Minister at the start of the year during which the two countries:
- signed major new commercial deals worth over £9 billion pounds, creating and securing jobs and prosperity in both the UK and China;
- agreed new measures to improve market access in China and remove barriers to trade, including an agreement which led to the lifting of the BSE ban on British beef exports last month;
- agreed to open up the Chinese market to enable UK financial services expertise to reach more Chinese consumers.
The Foreign Secretary will hold extensive discussions with Chinese State Counsellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi in the UK-China Strategic Dialogue. Topics expected to be discussed will be the importance of multilateralism and free trade and ways the UK and China can work together on global challenges such as climate change, development, security and non-proliferation and enforcing UN sanctions on North Korea. They will also explore ways to build on the already strong economic ties between the UK and China.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
The UK and China are both major powers with a global perspective. As the UK leaves the EU and becomes ever-more outward-looking, we are committed to deepening this vital partnership for the 21st century.
The UK-China Strategic Dialogue is an important opportunity to intensify our cooperation on shared challenges in international affairs, ranging from global free trade to non-proliferation and environmental challenges, under the UK-China Global Partnership and ‘Golden Era’ for UK-China relations.
Following his visit to China, the Foreign Secretary will be travelling to Paris and Vienna for talks with his counterparts on the UK’s exit from the EU, and international security issues such as the threat from Russia, the war in Syria, and the Iran deal.