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Chinese president lauds "community of shared interests" with Britain
October 21,2015   By:Xinhua
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LONDON, Oct.21,2015-- China and Britain are "increasingly interdependent" and becoming "a community of shared interests," Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday while addressing both Houses of British Parliament.
 
In an 11-minute speech, Xi said he believes his five-day state visit to Britain, the first one in a decade by a Chinese head of state, will lift the bilateral ties to "a new height."
 
Xi, who arrived in London on Monday evening, told the parliamentarians: "Although my visit has just started, I am already deeply impressed by the vitality of China-UK relations and the profound friendship between our peoples."
 
More than 500 people listened to Xi's speech, including Lord Speaker Frances D'Souza of the House of Lords, Speaker John Bercow of the House of Commons, Prime Minister David Cameron and Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn.
 
China and Britain have led the way in a number of areas in terms of bilateral relations, said Xi, labeling Britain as the first major Western country to recognize new born People's Republic of China (PRC) and the first European Union (EU) member to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership with China.
 
Since Britain's recognition of the PRC 65 years ago, bilateral ties have undergone remarkable development thanks to close high-level communication and various cooperation mechanisms, laying a solid foundation for a new type of relations featuring pragmatism, inclusiveness, openness and win-win results.
 
As the backbone of bilateral ties, the two countries' economic and trade relationship has enjoyed rapid development in recent years.
 
"Britain is a leading offshore RMB trading center after Hong Kong. It is also the first Western country to issue RMB sovereign bonds and the first major Western country to apply full membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank," said Xi.
 
Moreover, Britain hosts more Chinese students and Confucius Institutes than any other EU country, said Xi.
 
There are currently 25 Confucius Institutes in Britain. While there are around 150,000 Chinese students studying in Britain, there are 6,000 British students studying in China.
 
According to a British report, China has become the largest source of overseas students in the European country.
 
"It is fair to say that China and Britain are increasingly interdependent and becoming a community of shared interests," said Xi.
 
In his speech given at Parliament's magnificent Royal Gallery, the president quoted Shakespeare as well as ancient Chinese proverbs, and reviewed the friendly exchanges between the two countries in history and modern days.
 
He cited how 24 Chinese naval cadets took part in the Normandy landings during World War II and received personal thanks from Winston Churchill for their gallantry, and how China helped save a British military medic earlier this year who contracted Ebola virus while volunteering in Sierra Leone.
 
Ties between the two nations had been driven by "mutual understanding, support and friendship," the president stressed.
 
While acknowledging the British parliament was the oldest in the world, Xi noted: "In China, the concept of putting people first and following the rule of law emerged in the ancient times."
 
He voiced hopes that the legislative bodies of the two countries can enhance exchanges in rule of law, and that British parliamentarians can continue to promote relations with China.
 
"I hope that you will build a bridge of understanding and cooperation so as to help create an even brighter and more promising future of our bilateral ties," Xi added.