World / Political Ties

Xi tells UK parliament of 'first achievements' in relations

By Wu Jiao and Zhang Chunyan in London ( Updated: 2015-10-21 03:14

Xi tells UK parliament of 'first achievements' in relations

President Xi Jinping addresses MPs and peers in Parliament's Royal Gallery, in London, Britain, October 20, 2015.[Photo/Agencies]

China and Britain have made lots of first achievements in their bilateral relations, President Xi Jinping said in his first public speech on Tuesday as part of his state visit.

Addressing peers and members of parliament in the Royal Gallery at Westminster, Xi reviewed the historic relationship between the two countries.

"Although China and the UK are located at opposite ends of the Eurasian continent, we have a long shared deep mutual affection," he said.

He named the UK as the largest overseas offshore RMB trading center except for Hong Kong, and said it hosted more Chinese students and Confucius Institutes than any other European Union country.

He also mentioned that Britain had become the first western country to issue RMB sovereign bonds after another first, when it became the first major Western country to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as a founder member.

China and the UK are "increasingly inter-dependent and becoming a community of shared interests," he said.

In the speech, Xi quoted Shakespeare as well as ancient Chinese proverbs, and referenced the involvement of Chinese troops in the Normandy landings in World War II.

Xi also described entering the Palace of Westminster as like "going back in time".

"China's first code of statutes was compiled more than 2,000 years ago," said Xi.

"Today as the Chinese people are advancing the rule of law in an all-round way, they draw inspiration not only from China's own legal tradition, but also the best practices of other countries," Xi said.

Towards the end of his speech, Xi told the assembled MPs and ministers he hoped they would continue to "promote the UK's relations with China, strengthen our friendship and support our co-operation".

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