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New UK foreign secretary to visit China

2018-07-24 08:46:00 (Beijing Time)         Chinadaily.com.cn

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Jeremy Hunt, the United Kingdom's new foreign secretary, will make an official visit to China on Monday and co-chair the 9th China-UK Strategic Dialogue, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Monday at a regular news conference in Beijing.

It will be Hunt's first visit to China. The former UK health secretary was appointed foreign secretary this month.

China and the UK, both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, have upheld the international order and promoted free trade, Geng said.

"Given the current global situation, it is necessary for the two countries to send out a positive message about jointly safeguarding the rules-based international order, creating an open global economy and objecting to protectionism and unilateralism," he said.

That the foreign secretary plans to visit China so soon after assuming his position shows that the United Kingdom highly values bilateral ties, Geng said.

China also attaches great importance to deepening China-UK cooperation in various areas, and believes that the foreign secretary's visit will enhance mutual political trust and push forward their comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st century to achieve greater progress, he said.

Hunt will meet with Premier Li Keqiang and Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the committee, Geng said.

He will also co-chair the 9th China-UK Strategic Dialogue with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and exchange views about bilateral ties and regional and international hot spot issues.

Feng Zhongping, vice-president of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said Brexit offers an opportunity for China and the UK to carry out more cooperation.

"Both countries share the same desire to uphold globalization and promote free trade," he said.