Britain and China to hold new round of financial talks in London in June

By William James LONDON (Reuters) - Britain and China will hold the next round of their Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) in mid-June in London, finance minister Philip Hammond said on Thursday, after months of reports that talks had been delayed by diplomatic tension. The EFD has been used in the past to announce closer cooperation on trade and banking initiatives, and to sign commercial contracts. However, relations between London and Beijing have been strained in recent years, most notably after a British warship sailed close to islands claimed by China last August

Reuters April 26, 2019 00:06:35 IST
Britain and China to hold new round of financial talks in London in June

Britain and China to hold new round of financial talks in London in June

By William James

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain and China will hold the next round of their Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) in mid-June in London, finance minister Philip Hammond said on Thursday, after months of reports that talks had been delayed by diplomatic tension.

The EFD has been used in the past to announce closer cooperation on trade and banking initiatives, and to sign commercial contracts.

However, relations between London and Beijing have been strained in recent years, most notably after a British warship sailed close to islands claimed by China last August.

The EFD talks were agreed during Hammond's visit to Beijing to speak at a summit on China's Belt and Road Initiative, championed by President Xi Jinping, which envisions rebuilding the old Silk Road to connect China to Asia and beyond with extensive infrastructure investment.

"By deepening our cooperation on financial services, trade, and investment with international partners, we can ensure Britain's global future," Hammond said in a statement.

In that light, Britain will view the agreement of potentially lucrative talks as a success and a step closer to rebuilding the close ties seen earlier in the decade when then-finance minister George Osborne successfully courted Chinese investment.

Hammond said the talks would continue the "golden era" of cooperation - a phrase used repeatedly since Xi's state visit to London in 2015 which has become a byword for Britain's pitch to tap the investment power of the Chinese state.

Earlier on Thursday, Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua expressed regret to Hammond that the South China Sea issue had harmed ties, and that he hoped Britain could "respect China’s core interests and important concerns".

A Treasury statement said Hammond was due to tell the Belt and Road forum that Britain is a "natural partner for quality global infrastructure initiatives due to the world class talent and expertise the UK has to offer."

The Chinese initiative has become mired in controversy, with some partner nations bemoaning the high cost of projects, though China has repeatedly said it is not seeking to trap anyone with debt.

Hammond will emphasis in his remarks that projects must meet international standards on governance, debt sustainability and environmental impact, the Treasury said.

(Reporting by William James, additional reporting by Andy Bruce, Editing by Kylie MacLellan and Elizabeth Piper)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Hong Kong marks handover anniversary as national security law takes effect
World

Hong Kong marks handover anniversary as national security law takes effect

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong authorities threw a security blanket across the city early on Wednesday, the 23rd anniversary of the former British colony's handover to Chinese rule, hours after new national security legislation took effect in the financial hub. The contentious law will punish crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison, heralding a more authoritarian era for China's freest city.

Kentucky Democrats pick ex-fighter pilot McGrath to challenge U.S. Senate leader McConnell
World

Kentucky Democrats pick ex-fighter pilot McGrath to challenge U.S. Senate leader McConnell

By Susan Cornwell (Reuters) - Former fighter pilot Amy McGrath said on Tuesday she was ready to take on Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after edging out a Black progressive to clinch the Democratic nomination for the seat.

World shares end stellar quarter but still down in 2020
Business

World shares end stellar quarter but still down in 2020

By Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) - A global stocks index rose on Tuesday and marked its largest quarterly gain since 2009 as investors continued to look for signs of an economic recovery while shrugging off data showing a rising number of COVID-19 cases. The possible return of Libyan oil production, which has been at a trickle since the start of the year, weighed on crude prices. World shares rose 18.7% this quarter, the biggest quarterly gain in 11 years, but are still down more than 7% so far this year due to a slump of 34% between Feb.