|Wang Yi Speaks with British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss on the Phone at Request|
On October 22, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with new British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Elizabeth Truss at the latter's request.
Wang Yi said that 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 crucial impacts on regional and international situations. The two countries should maintain strategic communication, deepen mutual understanding, jointly manage differences, and push forward sound and stable development of bilateral ties, which not only serves the fundamental interests of the two countries, but also meets the common expectation of the international community. With differences in history, culture and development paths, it is normal for China and Britain to differ on some issues. The two 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.
Wang Yi said that China and Britain enjoy distinct economic complementarity and huge potential for cooperation. The bilateral trade is expected to exceed 100 billion U.S. dollars 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. If sustained, such bilateral cooperation will surely provide strong support for the respective national development strategies of China and Britain. China supports Britain in hosting the 26th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and hopes that the conference will achieve positive results.
Wang Yi said that China expresses grave concerns over the establishment of the trilateral security partnership among the United States, Britain and Australia (AUKUS), and over their nuclear-powered submarine cooperation. This would be the first time that a nuclear-weapon state transfer nuclear-powered submarine to a non-nuclear-weapon state and offer it highly enriched uranium without being subject to international supervision and verification, which is bound to constitute a grave nuclear proliferation risk.
Wang Yi stressed that the creation of a new military bloc in the region will trigger an arms race, provoke confrontation between major countries, and undermine regional peace and stability. China opposes the AUKUS, and urges the British side to handle the issue prudently and think twice before any further action, with the aim of maintaining the nuclear non-proliferation system.
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 push forward the development of their bilateral relations. Climate change is a key area of cooperation between the two sides. Britain is willing to strengthen cooperation with China to ensure the COP26 a success. Truss also explained and elaborated on the AUKUS.