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Friday, October 23, 2015, 08:57

Xi stresses culture and cooperation

By Wu jiao in London and Li Xiaokun in Beijing

Xi also called for increased strategic communication and political mutual trust to ensure that ideological differences or specific disagreements do not hinder long-term and steady growth of relations.

The City of London, the UK capital's financial district, manages $4 trillion of assets and contributes 3 percent of GDP. It is also home to branches of China's five biggest banks, epitomizing the deepening cooperation between the two countries.

Yarrow, who visited China last month, described its development and growing bilateral ties, telling guests: "Tonight's banquet is particularly special. Radiant reds and glittering golds illuminate a precious partnership between the United Kingdom and China."

Stressing the importance of building a global partnership with China, he concluded by saying, "Mr President, there are many golden threads, which connect our communities and commerce.

"And with your economic and diplomatic vision for collaboration, the Western and Eastern partners of the Silk Road can continue to weave a precious tapestry of talent."

Xi stresses culture and cooperation

First lady Peng Liyuan talks to students at Fortismere School in north London on Wednesday. (Xie Huanchi / Xinhua)

Cui Hongjian, head of the European Division at the China Institute of International Studies, said the president's speech had a rich cultural flavor.

"Xi's frequent citations of British celebrities and literary works show that he has a high respect and deep appreciation of the UK's culture," he said.

"That also shows that China's cooperation with Britain is not just about big deals. The relationship is a comprehensive and strategic one. To some extent, we can view cultural exchanges between China and the UK as communication of Eastern and Western cultures."

Huo Jianguo, former president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce, said Xi devoted a large part of his speech to China's domestic situation so that British people could "learn about the real China and its problems".

The president's expectations for relations between the two countries will not only affect the British government, but might also help chart the course for China's relations with Europe, he added.

Wednesday's banquet followed one hosted by Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday and capped the second day of Xi's visit, during which a series of business deals were signed with Britain, including a landmark agreement on the UK's first nuclear power plant since the 1980s.

The UK is China's second largest trading partner and investment destination in the European Union, and the biggest offshore RMB trading center after Hong Kong.

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