In a speech yesterday to the 3rd China-UK Economic & Trade Forum, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming posed the question – referring to the pandemic, how to find opportunities in crisis?
He had three solutions – first, in a swipe at Trump’s unilateralism and protectionism, he urged all to “strengthen confidence in economic globalisation”. Second, stressing “China’s vigorous efforts to build an open economy at a higher level” he urged all to “strengthen confidence in China’s open development”. Third, noting that in 2019 China-UK trade volume hit a record $86.7bn, he urged all “to strengthen confidence in China-UK business”
For me, the stand out point was the reference to China’s efforts “to build an open economy at a higher level”. Words are significant and here the emphasis is on “open” and “higher”. China is adapting, adjusting and changing as it becomes more experienced in building, growing and developing.
Let’s see if the UK blunders in its dealings with China under pressure from Tugendhat and others “to de-couple” or, instead, pursues a policy of cooperation and opportunity.