On 29 August 2018, the Daily Mail and its website published a signed article by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming entitled “Why global Britain must look towards China after Brexit”. The full text is as follows:
Why Global Britain Must Look Towards China After Brexit
When I first visited the Farnborough airshow in 2014, there were only three Chinese companies showcasing their products. This year, there were 25 when I attended the launch of AVIC Cabin Systems, which has investments in Bournemouth and Belfast. It aims to pool the strengths of Chinese and British companies to the advantage of the aviation industry of both countries.
Four decades ago, few Chinese companies invested overseas. Today, China is the world’s second largest foreign direct investor. It has invested more in the UK over the past five years than in the previous 30 years. This exceeds $19 billion, which is almost on a par with British investment in China.
One reason for this Chinese investment is that the UK is one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world. Its openness and co-operation delivers prosperity and benefits to the country and its people.
Chinese investment in the UK is win-win. After four decades of British investment in China, in which British Petroleum, Unilever, GSK and other trailblazers made important contribution to China’s economic and social progress, investment has gone from a one-way street to two-way traffic. Britain is China’s second largest source of investment, as well as the second largest investment destination in Europe. From the ABP Royal Albert Dock on the Thames to the North Sea oil field in Scotland, Chinese investors are working for British economic growth. The companies involved, while benefiting in terms of technology, expertise and market, have in return contributed to the UK’s economic and social development through tax revenue and job opportunities.
Take Huawei, the telecommunications company. In the past five years, this Chinese company has brought £2 billion to Britain in investment and procurement, creating more than 7,500 jobs and paying nearly £60 million in tax every year. In the next five years, Huawei will commit a further £3 billion and play an important role in the development of high-speed broadband and 5G communications in Britain.
In face of the risk of rising protectionism and unilateralism in the world, countries should make the right choice to stay open and inclusive. Their attitude towards foreign investment becomes a litmus test. China’s answer is to open its door wider to the world by significantly increasing market access, strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights and expanding imports.
A commitment to building a global Britain after Brexit will find open and inclusive policies towards foreign investment conducive to the country’s long-term prosperity and development. I believe that the British Government will continue to foster a friendly and inclusive environment for foreign investors.
Winston Churchill said: ‘Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice.’ Now is the time to make the right choice between openness and isolation, inclusiveness and exclusion. In the era of an open world economy and with our planet being one community with a shared future, no country can afford any mistake in making this crucial choice.