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UK-China Joint Statement 2015

UK-China Joint Statement on building a global comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st Century

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

At the invitation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, His Excellency President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China undertook a State Visit to the UK from 19 to 23 October 2015. During the visit, President Xi was received by Her Majesty and senior members of the Royal Family, and held extensive in-depth discussions with Prime Minister David Cameron at No. 10 Downing Street, his Chequers residence, and during a visit to Manchester.

Both sides agree that the State Visit by President Xi Jinping, as the culmination of the high-level exchanges this year, provides a historic opportunity for UK-China relations. The UK and China commit to building a global comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st Century. This visit opens a golden era in UK-China relations featuring enduring, inclusive and win-win cooperation.

In the last decade, the bilateral relationship has flourished and matured with close high-level exchanges, deeper political trust, fruitful economic cooperation and wider people-to-people contact.

The two sides recognise the global significance and strategic importance of stronger UK-China relations in promoting global peace, stability and prosperity.

Both sides welcome the strengthening economic recovery in the UK and some other advanced economies, but significant risks to the global economy remain. Even as China is undergoing enormous transformation, the two sides firmly believe that the vast size and potential of China’s economy will continue to drive strong growth for years to come.

The UK and China regard each other’s development as providing important opportunities for bilateral cooperation. Both sides will enhance bilateral trade and investment, and support mutual economic competitiveness and innovation for the benefit of both peoples in the decade ahead.

The two sides will further enhance political trust based on equality and mutual respect and, in that spirit, recognise the importance each side attaches to its own political system, development path, core interests and major concerns.

The two sides will increase the frequency, breadth and depth of high-level exchanges to guide the development and increase the potential of their bilateral relations. They will maintain and strengthen such mechanisms as the Annual Prime Minister’s Meeting, Strategic Dialogue, Economic and Financial Dialogue, and High-Level People-to-People Dialogue. Both sides will continue to promote the exchanges between their legislatures and political parties, and broaden regional and local collaboration between the two countries.

The UK and China both face the tasks of reform, growth and innovation and are uniquely matched to cooperate on economic development. They stand ready to learn from each other’s successful experience and find new models of cooperation to support the growth of sustainable economies underpinned by world class science and innovation. The two sides agree to raise the level of cooperation in innovation and establish a UK-China Innovation Cooperation Partnership.

The two sides stress the importance of bilateral investment in promoting growth and jobs, and will continue to expand two-way trade in goods and services. They commit to creating a fair, transparent, positive and business-friendly policy environment for two-way investment and addressing business concerns regarding market access and regulations. They will work together to protect intellectual property of Chinese and British companies in both countries.

Both sides have a strong interest in cooperating on each other’s major initiatives, namely China’s “Belt and Road” initiative and the UK’s National Infrastructure Plan and the Northern PowerHouse. They will further discuss a UK-China infrastructure alliance under existing mechanisms and explore cooperation in light of the China-EU Joint Investment Fund and Connectivity Platform. This includes supporting cooperation between China and the European Investment Bank.

The two sides are ready to enhance global industrial cooperation and are open to exploring cooperation involving third parties. Both sides support their businesses to combine China’s production capacity and equipment manufacturing with UK expertise.

Both sides attach importance to their cooperation on energy and transport in each other’s countries. The UK welcomes the progressive participation of Chinese companies in its civil nuclear energy projects, and both sides welcome the commercial agreement on Hinkley Point C. Both sides encourage their firms to deepen cooperation and participation in high speed rail projects.

Both sides agree that financial cooperation has made important progress on a reciprocal basis. They will deepen their unparalleled long-term partnership on financial services, as a leading area in the bilateral relationship. Both sides welcome London’s active participation in the internationalisation of the RMB and will continue to grow London’s RMB offshore market. The UK welcomes China’s issuance of a sovereign RMB bond in London, the first of its kind outside China. Both sides support the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange to carry out a feasibility study on a stock connect.

Both sides agree that people-to-people exchanges are a vibrant and promising area of bilateral cooperation, which strengthen creativity and innovation on both sides and promote the steady and sound growth of bilateral relations. Both sides commit to boost cultural and educational links and to enhance sport and media exchanges.

The UK and China will work together to learn from each other on healthcare, urbanisation, science and technology, to improve the welfare of their peoples. The two sides will strengthen exchanges in medical and healthcare policies and explore joint research and cooperation to tackle global health challenges including antimicrobial resistance.

Both sides support increased visitor flows between the UK and China particularly between young people, and agree to work together to increase the opportunities for study and tourism. The two sides have agreed to launch new competitively priced multiple year, multi-entry visit visas.

The UK and China agree to establish a high-level security dialogue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation on security issues such as non-proliferation, organised crime, cyber crime and illegal immigration. The UK and China agree not to conduct or support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, trade secrets or confidential business information with the intent of providing competitive advantage. The two sides will enhance mutual respect and understanding, and continue exchanges on human rights and rule of law.

The UK fully supports China’s deepening comprehensive strategic partnership with the EU in line with the China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation. Both sides support the early conclusion of an ambitious and comprehensive China-EU Investment Agreement, and call for the swift launch of a joint feasibility study for a China-EU Free Trade Agreement to achieve the goals set out in the 17th China-EU Summit Joint Statement, which is, once the conditions are right, to build a deep and comprehensive FTA, as a longer term perspective.

As countries of global influence and permanent members of the UN Security Council, the UK and China shoulder important responsibilities for the international system and global affairs. Both sides will work with other UN members to support regional and global stability. The two sides agree to strengthen cooperation on settling international and regional disputes peacefully in accordance with the UN Charter and international law.

The UK and China will increase multilateral cooperation to help resolve conflict through diplomatic and political means to achieve stability and therefore tackle the conditions that give rise to terrorism and extremism.

The UK and China support the G20’s important role as the premier forum for international economic cooperation, working towards world economic growth and an international financial system of fairness, equity, inclusivity and coherence. The UK actively supports China in hosting the G20 Summit in 2016. They will strengthen cooperation on fiscal, tax, financial, trade, investment, development and corruption issues, including as co-chairs of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group.

The UK supports the inclusion of the RMB into the SDR basket subject to meeting existing criteria in the IMF’s upcoming SDR review. Both sides urge members who have yet to ratify the 2010 quota and governance reforms to do so without delay to further enhance the voice of emerging markets and developing countries.

China commends the UK for being the first major western country to become a prospective founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). They look forward to the AIIB’s early operation and integration into the global financial system as a “lean, clean and green” institution that addresses Asia’s infrastructure needs.

The two sides reaffirm their commitment to implementing the post-2015 development agenda and will continue to work together in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals including poverty reduction, and through a renewed UK-China Development Partnership.

The UK and China recognise the need to address the problem of climate change, one of the biggest threats to humanity, in the context of sustainable development through international cooperation. Both sides also recognise that the upcoming international climate conference in Paris represents a pivotal moment for the global effort to tackle climate change.

The UK and China, recognising the importance and urgency of combating the illegal wildlife trade, commit to take active measures to tackle this global challenge.

The two sides agree to support each other in improving and upgrading their diplomatic premises in each other’s countries.

Both sides reiterate that they are determined to support each other’s prosperity and development and to work together for the benefit of global peace, security and development.

Published 22 October 2015