Chinese President Xi Jinping
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen today (October 11, 2023) said that President Xi Jinping and and the Chinese government are "deeply concerned" on the dengue epidemic in Bangladesh and announced that China will provide 25 million RMB (USD 3.5 million) anti-dengue aid to Bangladesh. "Today, The Chinese Embassy in Bangladesh is handing over 700 sets of Dengue kits to Enam Medical College and Hospital, which would meet the demand of tests for over 18,000 people," he said at the hospital in Savar. Also read: ‘China adheres to true multilateralism’: Ambassador Yao Wen This marks only a starting point, and there will be more anti-dengue aid in larger scale coming from China in a few days, said the ambassador. "With our joint effort in mitigating the current dengue surge, the bond of friendship between the two countries and peoples would be further enhanced," said Ambassador Yao. Also read: Future of Bangladesh should be determined by Bangladeshis: Ambassador Yao reiterates China’s non-intervention policy As a time-tested friend and strategic partner of Bangladesh, the envoy said, China is committed to working with Bangladesh in addressing public health challenges, which was manifested by their joint fight against the Covid-19 pandemic over the past three years. State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief, Dr Md. Enamur Rahman, and Chief Executive Officer of Enam Medical College and Hospital, Dr. Anawarul Quader Nazim, among others, were present. Also read: No limit to potential of Bangladesh-China ties: Ambassador Yao Wen "This year by far, we have witnessed the severest dengue epidemic in Bangladesh’s history, causing grief to thousands of families while exerting unbearable pressure on the local hospital system," Ambassador Yao said. He expressed his deepest sympathy for those who died of the disease and his sincerest condolences to their family members. "I salute, with highest respect, the doctors and medical workers who have fought sleeplessly on the front for months. You have saved the lives of many. Your hard work is highly appreciated," he said. At this critical moment of combating dengue, China stands with Bangladesh like always, he said. Chinese President Xi Jinping met Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during the BRICS summit in Johannesburg in August. President Xi emphasized that both China and Bangladesh are at a critical stage of their own development and revitalization, and the Chinese side stands ready to strengthen the synergy of development strategies with Bangladesh, push bilateral strategic cooperative partnership to a new level, and better benefit the people of the two countries.
Future of Bangladesh should be determined by Bangladeshis: Ambassador Yao reiterates China’s non-intervention policy
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen has reiterated his country’s non-intervention policy and said the future of Bangladesh should be determined by Bangladeshis. “Our policy is very consistent – that China never intervenes in any country’s internal affairs,” he told UNB in an exclusive interview. Ambassador Yao said the upcoming election is an internal affair of Bangladesh. China upholds Bangladesh’s efforts to fend off external interference and maintain domestic unity and stability, so as to ensure development and revitalization, said the ambassador referring to what the Chinese President Xi Jinping said during the Johannesburg meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. China supports Bangladesh in safeguarding national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, he elaborated referring to what President Xi said at the Johannesburg meeting. Read: Bangladesh's youth makes it 'vigorous' in Chinese eyes: Amb. Yao Wen “China is full of confidence over the better future of Bangladesh as well as China-Bangladesh relations,” said Ambassador Yao. Currently, over 600 Chinese enterprises are functioning in Bangladesh, and tens of thousands of Chinese citizens are living and working here, he said. According to Ambassador Yao, the Chinese companies proactively undertake social responsibilities on boosting local economy, protecting the environment, providing social services to host communities, helping create job opportunities, building capacity for manpower and promoting charity. “With their contribution and efforts, the hearts of the two peoples are brought together ever closer,” he said. Read: ‘China adheres to true multilateralism’: Ambassador Yao Wen When asked about the interests of Chinese companies and citizens in the context of heated political environment, Yao replied that the Chinese people are here for friendship and joint development with Bangladeshi people. “Their safety and security should surely be guaranteed, and their lawful interests should be protected,” he said. Bangladesh Election Commission is taking preparations for the next national election which is likely to be held in December this year or January next year. During his first interview since his arrival in Dhaka late last year, the Chinese ambassador touched upon issues related to trade and investment, Global Development Initiative, Belt and Road Initiative, people to people relations, and opportunities ahead. Read more: No limit to potential of Bangladesh-China ties: Ambassador Yao Wen
China hopes Bangladesh would make good use of preferential loans, GDI and South-South Cooperation Fund: Ambassador Yao
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh, Yao Wen, has said the Global Development Initiative (GDI), a twin sister of BRI, is aimed at supporting the timely achievement of all 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by revitalizing global development partnership and promoting stronger, greener and healthier global development. “We hope that Bangladesh would make good use of China’s aid, preferential loans, and the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund to actively carry out policy dialogue, experience sharing, capacity building and practical cooperation,” the envoy told UNB during his first interview since his arrival here late last year. Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward GDI at the United Nations in 2021. Rohingya Genocide Case at ICJ: US shares info with The Gambia The Global Development Initiative promotes international cooperation in eight priority areas, namely poverty alleviation, food security, pandemic response and vaccines, financing for development, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy and connectivity in the digital-era, said the ambassador. “All these are also the focus of Bangladesh in its Vision 2041 perspective plan,” he said. According to the United Nations, over 100 countries and international organizations have expressed their support to the GDI and 68 countries have joined the Group of Friends of the GDI at the UN. In July, the first high-level meeting of the Global Action Forum for Shared Development was held in Beijing, with more than 800 guests from 158 countries and international organizations attending online and offline. Minister of Planning MA Mannan took part in the event on behalf of Bangladesh. China bans seafood from Japan after the Fukushima nuclear plant begins its wastewater release Priorities Ahead Bangladesh and China will celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2025. “It would be a perfect occasion to review achievements in the past and map forward for the future,” the ambassador said. He promised that China would do its part to help Bangladesh graduate from the LDC status by 2026, and fuel joint development to achieve respective national dreams which are “well-connected”. “Practical cooperation is the cornerstone of China-Bangladesh relations. While implementing projects agreed during high-level visits back in 2016 and 2019, we will take the initiative with Bangladesh to figure out more under the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative on connectivity infrastructure, renewable energy, blue economy, digital empowerment, so on and so forth,” said the Chinese envoy. China to support Bangladesh in joining BRICS: XI tells Hasina during talks In terms of trade, he said, local exporters are encouraged to fully leverage China’s 98 percent zero-tariff treatment for Bangladeshi products and showcase the “Made in Bangladesh” brand on expositions held in China, such as China International Import Expo, China-South Asia Expo and Canton Fair. The Chinese Economic and Industrial Zone in Chattogram should eye high-end and high-value industries to serve the Smart Bangladesh development strategy as well as the high-quality development paradigm of China, he said. “We’d encourage Chinese entrepreneurs to increase investment in promising fields like new energy, ICT, advanced manufacturing, and agri-product processing,” Ambassador Yao said, adding that he would also push forward the cooperation on disaster management and relief, military exchanges, law enforcement coordination and maritime cooperation during his tenure in Dhaka. “Of course, as the Chinese ambassador, I’d play my role in mediating between Bangladesh and Myanmar to facilitate early and sustainable repatriation of displaced people from the Rakhine State,” he said. Producing Green Energy Responding to a question, the envoy said China, a key contributor to the Paris Agreement, pledged to peak its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, and to reach carbon neutrality by 2060. “By 2035, China will broadly establish eco-friendly ways of work and life, lower carbon emissions after reaching a peak, improve the environment and largely accomplish the goal of developing a ‘Beautiful China’,” he added. UN Security Council, minus China and Russia, condemns Myanmar military's killing of civilians Bangladesh also faces critical challenges of environmental degradation and climate change. “Fortunately, the country has become well aware of the gravity of these issues, and has taken plausible actions,” the Chinese envoy said, noting that the Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan (MCPP) adopted in 2020 plays a key role in guiding the country’s development paradigm into the track of green transition by 2030. “As Bangladesh and China converge on environmental goals, significant potentials emerge for the two countries to synergize on green development strategies, thereby building a shared human community in harmony with nature,” said Ambassador Yao. “In fact, we’ve already kickstarted cooperation in this regard. When I visited Cox’s Bazar a few months ago, I saw photovoltaic panels of Chinese brand on top of many roofs. A wind farm project is also being built there by Chinese contractors,” he added. Next Generation of Green Traffic It was reported that Bangladesh had its first electric vehicle (EV) charging station installed in Dhaka earlier this month. “I read it in the newspaper. But there are only 35 EV registered in Bangladesh for the time being. That is a negligible amount compared to the 170 million population of Bangladesh,” he said. China is a key designer and manufacturer of EV. There are over 16 million EV and mixed-fuel vehicles running on the roads in China, and the number is still soaring. “We would encourage more Chinese EV manufacturers to come to Bangladesh, explore the local market, and meet the demands of Bangladeshi people, thereby helping Bangladesh transit towards the next generation of green traffic,” said the ambassador.
China will always stay beside Bangladesh in its needs that included supporting it in joining the BRICS and ensuring permanent solution to the Rohingya crisis. Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday (August 23, 2023) evening gave the assurance in a bilateral meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Hotel Hilton Sandton here on the sidelines of the 15th BRICS Summit. The Chinese president also gave assurance of cooperation in making Bangladesh a developed, prosperous Sonar Bangla and taking initiative to quicken the signing of the Preferential-free Trade Agreement with Bangladesh and reducing the imbalance in China-Bangladesh trade. Also read: Unhindered democracy spurs Bangladesh’s advancement: PM Hasina Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen briefed reporters after the bilateral talks between the two leaders. During the meeting, he said, both the leaders invited one another to visit their respective countries at their convenient time and they have agreed to this respect. “I will always support you (Sheikh Hasina) as you can join the BRICS,” Momen quoted the Chinese president as saying l. Regarding the Rohingya issue, Xi wants to resolve the Rohingya issue through tripartite engagement of China, Bangladesh and Myanmar and assured that they will always support Bangladesh to this end. Also read: Join our journey of becoming a trillion-dollar economy: PM Hasina tells South African businesses “China will help Bangladesh in bringing a permanent solution to the Rohingya issue. ---we don’t want instability in the region,” he was quoted as saying by the foreign minister. Bangladesh prime minister said that her government wants to repatriate Rohingyas to their homeland citing that they are becoming threats for the peace of the region as many of them are engaged in illegal drugs and arms trading. Also read: PM Hasina reaches Johannesburg to attend BRICS summit “Peace is imperative for development,” she said. Xi also expressed his country’s keenness to help Bangladesh in the development of energy, renewable energy and infrastructure. “China will help you materialise your dream to build a developed and prosperous ‘Sonar Bangla’ at the quickest possible time.” Hasina also sought the Chinese president’s help in quick implementation of some Chinese funded projects which are now being stuck for fund crisis while the Chinese leader is assured of looking into the matters. Read more: BRICS Summit 2023 unveils potential geopolitical paradigm shift: Modern Diplomacy During the talks, the prime inister stressed the need for reducing the trade gap between Bangladesh and China citing that Bangladesh has currently imported Chinese goods worth about 20 billion US dollars every year while China imported Bangladeshi goods worth only 700 million US dollars. The Chinese president in reply said they must address the issue and said that China has given duty and quota free access to 98 percent Bangladeshi products to the Chinese market. Hasina said that the trade gap between Bangladesh and China will be reduced if some Chinese investments come to Bangladesh. She also stressed the need for signing the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between the two countries. “We will take measures to quicken the signing of the Preferential Trade Agreement between the countries,” Xi said in reply. Read more: BRICS Summit: Hasina, Modi likely to hold meeting on the sidelines Momen said that Bangladesh has expressed its eagerness to export fresh fruits such as mango, jackfruit, guava, fresh vegetables and cattle and poultry feeds to China. The Chinese leader assured them that they must consider it, Momen said. Bangladesh premier invited the Chinese President to visit Bangladesh to witness the opening of the Padma Rail Bridge to be held in October next. In reply, the Chinese president said that he will definitely come to Bangladesh. “But the time of visit will be fixed through talks between foreign ministers of both the countries.” Read more: 2023 BRICS Summit: Lot of interest in how new members are chosen and which countries would be eligible Xi Jingping also invited Bangladesh PM to visit China and in reply Sheikh Hasina said she will visit China. “But it may take time as she will be busy with the election campaign as the national election is knocking the door, the foreign minister said. Sheikh Hasina urged the Chinese President to widen the scope for Bangladeshi students to study in China while Xi assured of looking into the matter. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, PM's daughter and Thematic Ambassador of Climate Vulnerable Forum and Chairperson of the National Advisory Committee for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Saima Wazed, PM's Principal Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah and Senior Secretary of Foreign Affairs Masud Bin Momen, were present in the meeting. Read more: Developed countries should be happy that BRICS would like to help developing nations: Momen
President Joe Biden will sit down with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday for their first in-person meeting since the U.S. president took office nearly two years ago, amid increasing tensions between the two superpowers as they compete for global influence. Both men are coming into the highly anticipated meeting — held on the margins of the Group of 20 summit of world leaders in Indonesia — with bolstered political standing at home. Democrats triumphantly held onto control of the Senate, with a chance to boost their ranks by one in a runoff election in Georgia next month, while Xi was awarded a third five-year term in October by the Community Party's national congress, a tenure that broke with tradition. “We have very little misunderstanding,” Biden told reporters in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where he participated in a gathering of southeast Asian nations before leaving for Indonesia. “We just got to figure out where the red lines are and ... what are the most important things to each of us going into the next two years.” Read more: Biden, Xi coming into highly anticipated meeting with bolstered political standing at home Biden added: “His circumstance has changed, to state the obvious, at home.” The president said of his own situation: “I know I’m coming in stronger.” White House aides have repeatedly sought to play down any notion of conflict between the two nations and have emphasized that they believe the two countries can work in tandem on shared challenges such as climate change and health security. But relations between the U.S. and China have become increasingly strained during Biden's presidency. Before leaving Washington, Biden said he planned to raise with Xi the differences in their approach to the self-governing island of Taiwan, trade practices and China's relationship with Moscow amid its nearly nine months-old invasion of Ukraine. Chinese officials have largely refrained from public criticism of Russia's war, although Beijing has avoided direct support such as supplying arms. Taiwan has emerged as one of the most contentious issues between Washington and Beijing. Multiple times in his presidency, Biden has said the U.S. would defend the island — which China has eyed for eventual unification — in case of a Beijing-led invasion. But administration officials have stressed each time that the U.S.'s posture of “strategic ambiguity” toward the island has not changed. Read more: Biden-Xi meeting: US trying to understand where China really stands Tensions flared even higher when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., visited Taiwan in August, prompting China to retaliate with military drills and the firing of ballistic missiles into nearby waters. The Biden administration also blocked exports of advanced computer chips to China last month — a move meant to bolster U.S. competition against Beijing and one that was quickly condemned by Chinese officials. And though the two men have held five phone or video calls during Biden's presidency, White House officials say those encounters are no substitute for Biden being able to meet and size up Xi in person. That task is all the more important after Xi strengthened his grip on power through the party congress, leaving U.S. officials seeking direct engagement with Xi as lower-level officials have been unable or unwilling to speak for the Chinese president. Many of Biden’s conversations and engagements during his three-country tour — which took him to Egypt and Cambodia before he landed on the island of Bali on Sunday — were, by design, preparing him for his meeting with Xi and sending a signal that the U.S. would compete in areas where Xi has also worked to expand his country's influence. In Phnom Penh, Biden sought to assert U.S. influence and commitment in a region where China has also been making inroads and where many nations feel allied with Beijing. He also sought input on what he should raise with Xi in conversations with leaders from Japan, South Korea and Australia. Read more: Biden to meet China's Xi on Monday for Taiwan, Russia talks The two men have a history that dates to Biden's time as vice president, when he embarked on a get-to-know-you mission with Xi, then China's vice president, in travels that brought Xi to Washington and Biden through travels on the Tibetan plateau. The U.S. president has emphasized that he knows Xi well and he wants to use this in-person meeting to better understand where the two men stand. Biden was fond of tucking references to his conversations with Xi into his travels around the U.S. ahead of the midterm elections, using the Chinese leader's preference for autocratic governance to make his own case to voters why democracy should prevail. That view was somewhat validated on the global stage, as White House aides said several world leaders approached Biden during his time in Cambodia to tell him they watched the outcome of the midterm elections closely and that the results were a triumph for democracy. Biden planned to deliver public remarks and take questions from reporters after his meeting with Xi.
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in Beijing on Wednesday. China has always viewed its relations with Pakistan from a strategic and long-term perspective and prioritized Pakistan in its neighborhood diplomacy, Xi told Sharif, who is on an official visit to China. China appreciates Pakistan's firm will for friendly cooperation with China and appreciates its support on issues related to China's core and major concerns, Xi said. Read more:In Xi's China, even internal reports fall prey to censorship China will firmly support Pakistan's efforts in safeguarding national sovereignty, territorial integrity, development interests and national dignity, he said. China sympathizes with the Pakistani people who have suffered from the devastating floods and will provide additional emergency assistance to help Pakistan in post-disaster reconstruction, Xi said. Xi briefed Sharif on the important outcomes of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). He pointed out that China will continue to adhere to the basic state policy of opening-up and continue to provide new opportunities to Pakistan and other countries with China's new development. He called on the two sides to advance the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor with greater efficiency and welcomed Pakistan to expand its export of high-quality agricultural products to China. Read more:China’s Communist Party capable of new, greater miracles: Xi Jinping Sharif said it is a great honor to be one of the first foreign leaders invited to visit China after the landmark 20th CPC National Congress, which demonstrates the profound friendship between Pakistan and China. Pakistan hopes to learn from China's successful state governance experience and deepen cooperation with China in various fields to advance its own development. This is the direction and only choice for Pakistan in the future, the prime minister said. Pakistan will further strengthen security measures and spare no effort to protect the safety of Chinese institutions and personnel in Pakistan, Sharif said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday is hosting a virtual summit with the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa collectively known as the “BRICS,” amid rising concerns over the global economic outlook and a growing political divide between Beijing and New Delhi. While no agenda has been issued for the talks, Ukraine is likely to feature heavily in the background. China has refused to condemn Russia's invasion while criticizing sanctions brought against Moscow. India has bought large amounts of Russian oil at a heavy discount, and South Africa abstained on a United Nations vote condemning Russia's actions. Along with Xi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro are scheduled to join the two days of discussions. China has sought to use the BRICS meetings to further its vision of an alliance to counter the U.S.-led liberal democratic world order while expanding its economic and political footprint. Read: China says Ukraine crisis has sounded alarm for humanity That has produced few tangible results, but Xi remains committed to the idea of an alternative — and principally authoritarian — global governance mode, investing heavily in countries like Cambodia while cracking down on civil rights in Hong Kong and boosting its military to assert its claims in the South China Sea and threats to annex Taiwan by force. In an address to the BRICS Economic Summit on Wednesday, Xi said the conflict in Ukraine has “sounded an alarm for humanity,” continuing its formal position of neutrality while backing its ally Russia. Xi said imposing sanctions could act as a “boomerang” and a “double-edged sword,” and that the global community would suffer from “politicizing, mechanizing and weaponizing” global economic trends and financial flows. “Economic globalization is an objective requirement for the development of productive forces and an irresistible historical trend,” Xi said. In a recorded video, Bolsonaro made no mention of any country and said that “the current international context is a cause for concern because of the risks to trade and investment flows to the stability of energy supply chains and investment." “Brazil’s response to these challenges is not to close itself off. On the contrary, we have sought to deepen our economic integration," he added. The BRICS collective was founded in 2009 when the countries were seen as the potential engine for future global economic growth. Since then, South Africa and Brazil have seen their economies become mired in crisis while China’s growth has sharply declined and Russia has become embroiled in its invasion of Ukraine and punishing economic sanctions imposed by the West. China and India have meanwhile feuded over their disputed border and New Delhi’s defense partnership with the U.S., Japan and Australia in what is known as “The Quad.” Skirmishes along the frontier resulted in a major standoff in 2020 leading to casualties on both sides.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday held a phone conversation with his Philippine counterpart, Rodrigo Duterte. During the phone conversation, Xi said that he still has fresh memories about Duterte's first visit to China in October 2016, which he called an ice-breaking trip and a milestone in the history of bilateral relations. In the past six years, Xi said, the two sides have followed the important consensus reached between the two leaders, and have persisted in promoting good-neighborly friendship and cooperation, properly handling differences, working together for common development, and getting rid of interference in bilateral ties, which is demonstrating a new situation of vigorous development. The two countries have established a comprehensive strategic cooperative relationship, deepened the synergy between the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and the plan of "Build, Build, Build," and jointly promoted cooperation in major programs such as infrastructure construction, with bilateral trade volume doubled during the period, he added. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Xi said, the two sides have stood by each other, safeguarded the safety of the lives of the people in both countries and their health, and worked to maintain the stability of the regional industrial and supply chains. The two sides' properly handling of the South China Sea issue has provided an important foundation for the China-Philippines friendly cooperation, benefited the two people and also effectively safeguarded regional peace and stability, Xi said. Xi stressed that China maintains the continuity and stability in its policy toward the Philippines, and is willing to work with the country to promote sustained and sound development of the bilateral relations so as to reach new levels. The Chinese side stands ready to continue to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines if needed, and strengthen bilateral cooperation in the research and development of specific drugs and in public health capacity building, Xi said. China is also ready to promote the construction of major projects and expand cooperation in trade, investment, education, as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges with the Philippines, he said. China will also import more quality products from the Philippines, encourage Chinese enterprises to invest and do business in the Philippines, and contribute to the modernization process of the Philippines, he added. Xi stressed that the development of the current international situation has once again proved that regional security cannot be achieved by strengthening military alliances. Read: China urges int'l community to do more for Mali's peace, stability The Chinese side is ready to work with the Philippines and other regional countries to uphold the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, take firm control over regional security, and jointly safeguard the hard-won peace and stability in the region so as to build a community with a shared future for mankind, he added. Duterte said he highly values his friendship and good relations with President Xi. Over the past six years, thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, people in the two countries have become more friendly toward each other, bilateral relations stronger and their cooperation more fruitful, and the Philippine people have truly felt the benefits of Philippines-China cooperation, he added. Thanking China for its vaccine support in the anti-pandemic fight as well as the timely help to the people affected by storms in his country, Duterte said China is a true and reliable friend of the Philippine people. The Philippine side is willing to consolidate its friendship and cooperation with China, continue to strengthen bilateral relations, learn from China's experience in poverty reduction, and promote cooperation in such fields as anti-pandemic, economy and trade, infrastructure, tourism and education, said the president. The Philippines also welcomes Chinese investment and cooperation in the country, which is of great significance for the Philippines to achieve its own development, he added. The Philippines is willing to work with China to properly address the South China Sea issue, set an example for the peaceful resolution of disputes, and maintain regional peace and stability, Duterte said, adding the Philippines is also willing to play an active role in the development of ASEAN-China relations.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday afternoon held a phone conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Noting that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level between China and Britain, Xi said that the bilateral relationship in the past half century has witnessed continuous growth on the whole despite some ups and downs. The trade volume between the two countries has increased from 300 million U.S. dollars to 100 billion dollars, and the two-way investment stock has risen from almost zero to 50 billion dollars, Xi said. Read:China, Afghanistan pledge orderly, mutually beneficial cooperation Last year, bilateral trade reached a new high, and China's investment in Britain more than tripled, Xi said, adding that British-funded enterprises have actively participated in China's reform and opening up, and London has become the world's largest offshore RMB trading hub. The two countries have coordinated and cooperated in such fields as global development and climate change, and have made positive contributions to tackling humanity's common challenges, Xi said. Noting that China and Britain have different domestic conditions and development paths, Xi said the two sides should bear in mind a strategic and long-term perspective, respect each other, promote dialogue and communication based on openness and inclusiveness, and expand mutually beneficial cooperation. Xi said that China is willing to conduct dialogue and cooperation with Britain in a frank, open and inclusive manner, and hopes that the British side can view China and China-Britain relations objectively, and work with China in promoting a continuous development of bilateral ties. For his part, Johnson said that Britain-China relations are of great importance. Trade between Britain and China has been growing rapidly, and Chinese students in Britain outnumber those in any other European countries, of which, he said, Britain is very proud. Read:One 'black box' found in China Eastern plane crash Britain and China, two permanent members of the UN Security Council, share common interests on many issues and can work with each other on many things, he said. He also said that Britain is willing to have candid dialogues with China, strengthen bilateral exchanges and cooperation, expand bilateral economic and trade cooperation and deepen communication and coordination on such global issues and regional hotspots as climate change and bio-diversity.
Face to face by video, President Joe Biden laid out to Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday the stiff consequences the Chinese would face from the U.S. if they provide military or economic assistance for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. There was no indication he got any assurance in return. In fact, Xi blamed the U.S. for the crisis and insisted with a Chinese proverb that the next move was up to Biden: “He who tied the bell to the tiger must take it off,” Xi said, according to a Chinese government readout. More formally after the nearly two-hour conversation, China’s Foreign Ministry deplored “conflict and confrontation” as “not in anyone’s interest,” but assigned no blame to Russia and said nothing of next steps. At the White House, press secretary Jen Psaki said, “China has to make a decision for themselves, about where they want to stand and how they want the history books to look at them and view their actions.” She declined to detail possible consequences Biden specified to the Chinese president if his country provides support for the Russian invasion. But a senior administration official who briefed reporters following the leaders’ call said that Biden pointed to the economic isolation that Russia has faced — including economy-battering sanctions and major Western corporations suspending operations — as he sought to underscore the costs that China might suffer. Xi urged the U.S. and Russia, which have had limited engagement since the Feb. 24 invasion, to negotiate. He noted China’s donations of humanitarian aid for Ukraine, while accusing the U.S. of provoking Russia and fueling the conflict by shipping arms to the embattled country. He also renewed China’s criticism of sanctions imposed on Russia over the invasion, according to State media. As in the past, Xi did not use the terms war or invasion to describe Russia’s actions. Ahead of the call, Psaki noted Beijing’s “rhetorical support” of Putin and an “absence of denunciation” of Russia’s invasion. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying pushed back, calling the U..S. administration “overbearing” for suggesting China risks falling on the wrong side of history. The two leaders also discussed the longer-simmering U.S.-China dispute over Taiwan. In a reminder of China’s threat to assert its claim by force, the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Friday, just hours before the Biden-Xi call. The U.S. is legally obligated to ensure the self-governing island democracy can defend itself and treats threats to it with “grave concern.” Planning for the leaders’ discussion had been in the works since Biden and Xi held a virtual summit in November, but differences between Washington and Beijing over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s prosecution of his three-week-old war against Ukraine were at the center of Friday’s conversation. The U.S.-China relationship, long fraught, has only become more strained since the start of Biden’s presidency. Biden has repeatedly criticized China for military provocations against Taiwan, human rights abuses against ethnic minorities and efforts to squelch pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong. But the relationship may have reached a new low with the Russian invasion. In the days after Putin deployed Russian forces in Ukraine, Xi’s government tried to distance itself from Russia’s offensive but avoided the criticism many other nations have leveled at Moscow. At other moments, Beijing’s actions have been provocative including amplifying unverified Russian claims that Ukraine ran chemical and biological weapons labs with U.S. support. Earlier this week, the U.S. informed Asian and European allies that American intelligence had determined that China had signaled to Russia that it would be willing to provide both military support for the campaign in Ukraine and financial backing to help stave off the impact of severe sanctions imposed by the West. Read: Hundreds feared trapped in Ukraine theater hit by airstrike The White House says China has been sending mixed messages. There were initial signs that Chinese state-owned banks were pulling back from financing Russian activities, according to a senior Biden administration official who insisted on anonymity to discuss internal analyses. But there have also been public comments by Chinese officials who expressed support for Russia being a strategic partner. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and senior Chinese foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi met in Rome this week for an intense, seven-hour talk about the Russian invasion and other issues. Read: Rescuers search theater rubble as Russian attacks continue Ahead of the Rome talks, Sullivan said the U.S. wouldn’t abide China or any other country helping Russia work around economy-jarring sanctions inflicted by the U.S. and other allies in response to the invasion. Sullivan also said the administration determined China knew that Putin “was planning something” before the invasion of Ukraine, but the Chinese government “may not have understood the full extent” of what Putin had in mind. Xi and Putin met in early February, weeks before the invasion, with the Russian leader traveling to Beijing for the start of the Winter Olympics. The two leaders issued a 5,000-word statement declaring limitless “friendship.” Beijing’s leaders would like to be supportive of Russia, but they also recognize how badly the Russian military action is going as an overmatched Ukrainian military has put up stiff resistance, according to a Western official familiar with current intelligence assessments. The official, who was not authorized to comment and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Beijing is weighing the potential “reputational blowback” of being associated with the Russian camp. The Chinese response to Russia’s request for help is still being formulated, the official said. Though seen as siding with Russia, China has also reached out to Ukraine, with its ambassador to the country on Monday quoted as saying: “China is a friendly country for the Ukrainian people. As an ambassador, I can responsibly say that China will forever be a good force for Ukraine, both economically and politically.” “We have seen how great the unity of the Ukrainian people is, and that means its strength,” Fan Xianrong was quoted by Ukraine’s state news service Ukrinform as telling regional authorities in the western city of Lviv, where the Chinese Embassy has relocated to. State media quoted Xi as saying China-U.S. relations had yet to “emerge from the dilemma created by the previous U.S. administration, but instead encountered more and more challenges,” singling out Taiwan as one area in particular. “If the Taiwan issue is not handled properly, it will have an undermining impact on the relationship between the two countries,” Xi reportedly told Biden.