Britain and China should seize golden opportunities to forge a closer global partnership in the post-Brexit era, British Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary Greg Clark has said.
The official, who was in Beijing for the ninth round of China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD), told Xinhua recently that the two countries could further enhance their cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, clean energy, and others to jointly face global challenges.
Being optimistic about the ongoing Brexit negotiations between Britain and the European Union, Clark said there was “great will” on both sides to have a strong and special relationship. Meanwhile, Britain is willing to renew its enthusiasm for international relationships, especially with China.
“In the world after Brexit, Britain will continue to be a place that trades wholeheartedly with the rest of the European Union. For a lot of Chinese companies and investors being based in Britain, it is still a good place to be part of the European system,” he said.
Clark said Britain’s relationship with China is a good example of its internationalism, which has entered a new phase in the “golden era.”
In its recently released industrial strategy, the British government identified energy transition as one of the key global challenges. “The best solution to these challenges is when countries could work together,” Clark said, adding that Britain and China have built a strong foundation for working together on this issue.
“The Hinkley Point C project is not only the largest energy investment in the UK, but also the largest infrastructure investment project in Europe,” said the official, adding that this is a good example of how clean energy cooperation can function as a pillar of international partnership.
The 14-billion-GBP (18-billion-U.S.-dollar) project, with one third invested by China, has been described by local media as “Britain’s first new nuclear power station in a generation.”
Clark said that through the Paris Agreement, both Britain and China have made very significant commitments on climate change. “One of the challenges is to make sure we can meet our commitment at an affordable cost,” he said.
Part of Clark’s purpose to attend the Energy Dialogue under the EFD scheme is to look for opportunities for renewable energy cooperation in a broad range, including offshore wind energy, he explained.
Britain has established a leading position in this field, and the energy cost has been effectively reduced with the application of offshore wind technology, he said.
“I hope that clean energy is affordable for both consumers and businesses, we have a joint ambition in bringing down the cost of energy,” he said.
Clark was also interested in the Made in China 2025 initiative. According to him, the world has witnessed “massive and exciting” changes taking place where major revolutions of technology have been transforming almost every sector of the economy as well as people’s lives.
He was delighted to see that the two countries have identical views on global trends, such as the aging population, and that both countries have come up with action plans on developing artificial intelligence, data analysis, as well as other sectors, to embrace technological changes and build economic strengths.
“The best way to make progress is to have a whole-hearted enthusiastic international collaboration and I think we have a golden opportunity in part of this ‘golden era’ to work together on these global challenges,” Clark said.