Q: British Prime Minister's office reportedly said yesterday that Prime Minister Theresa May will visit China within the year, as the two countries are moving even closer. Can you confirm that? There are also reports saying that Prime Minister May has to strengthen relations with other major countries by making overseas visits against the backdrop of "Brexit". How do you view the future growth of China-UK relationship?
A: The China-UK relationship enjoys a good momentum of growth. President Xi Jinping had his first meeting with Prime Minister May last September when the latter was in China for the G20 Hangzhou Summit. The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to a Golden Era for their bilateral relationship. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of ambassadorial-level diplomatic ties between China and the UK, blessing the bilateral relationship with new opportunities of development. The Chinese side welcomes a visit by Prime Minister May in due time. We are ready to work with the British side to advance our global comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st century in a sustained, sound and steady manner.
We have repeatedly expressed our point of view on the issue of "Brexit". The Chinese side will follow the developments of negotiations between the UK and the EU. We believe that the two sides, as influential powers in the world, will reach a win-win agreement through negotiation. It is in the interests of all sides that the UK and Europe stay prosperous, stable and open. The Chinese side will work with the EU to move forward our partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization.
Q: Will the Chinese side invite British Prime Minister May to the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May?
A: As I said, the Chinese side welcomes a visit by Prime Minister May in due time. I briefed the press last week about some details of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held in Beijing in May. A lot of countries are keen to attend the Forum. Preparation for the meeting is well underway. We will invite leaders from regions such as Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America to the meeting, and release details in due course.