China and U.K. look to deepen financial cooperation for mutual benefit

Han Zheng

8th June 2023 – (Beijing) During a meeting with Nicholas Lyons, Lord Mayor of the City of London, in Beijing on Thursday, Chinese Vice President Han Zheng expressed China’s willingness to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with the British financial community. Han also emphasised the need to promote the sustained and healthy development of bilateral economic and trade relations.

Noting that the economic and trade ties between China and the U.K. enjoy sound momentum and huge potential, Han said financial cooperation has increasingly become a new driving force for bilateral practical cooperation. He also acknowledged that London is one of the most internationalised financial hubs in the world and the City of London is not only the “heart” of London’s economic development but also a world-renowned financial centre.

At present, China is unswervingly expanding its high-level opening-up in various fields, including the financial industry, Han added. This move is aimed at creating more opportunities for foreign investors to invest in China and for Chinese companies to invest overseas.

Lyons, on the other hand, said that China has made massive achievements in economic and social development and that its future development goals will be achieved. He added that the U.K. and China share broad common interests and enjoy promising prospects for financial cooperation.

The City of London is willing to deepen cooperation with the Chinese government, enterprises, and financial institutions to achieve win-win development, Lyons said. He also acknowledged the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative, which he said could bring significant opportunities for both countries.

The meeting between Han Zheng and Nicholas Lyons comes at a time when the U.K. is seeking to strengthen its ties with China after its departure from the European Union. The UK and China have been exploring ways to deepen their economic and trade relations, with a focus on financial cooperation.

China is the U.K.’s sixth-largest trading partner, and the U.K. is China’s second-largest trading partner in Europe. The two countries have set a goal of doubling their bilateral trade from its 2019 level of $91.2 billion by 2025.

The U.K. has been actively seeking to attract Chinese investment in areas such as infrastructure, technology, and energy. The U.K. has also been promoting the use of the yuan in international trade, with the Bank of England recently granting a license to the China Construction Bank to operate in London as a yuan clearing bank.