China’s UK ambassador warned Chinese companies of uncertainty over Brexit
Prior Britain's vote to exit the European Union in June last year, China had not directly stated an opinion, viewing it as an internal matter and saying only that it wanted to see a strong and stable Europe.
Diplomatic sources, however, said that was coded support for the defeated “remain” camp, as the bloc – China's largest trading partner – will lose around a sixth of its economic output and an important supporter of free trade in the EU.
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Prime Minister Theresa May set out her vision for Brexit in a speech in mid-January, outlining plans to leave the EU single market in a clean break with the bloc.
In an interview with the official China Daily published today, Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming repeated China's position that Beijing respects Britain's choice and hopes for an early arrangement between Britain and the EU acceptable to both.
Ambassador Liu Xiaoming told financial firms to take ‘precautions’
“I believe, when there is a problem, there is always a solution,” he said.
Chinese companies in these sectors should take precautions
Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming
Britain has worked hard to attract Chinese investment, including in the financial sector, giving Chinese companies a London-based entry into the EU market.
“Chinese companies in these sectors should take precautions,” Liu said, without elaborating.
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Politicians and celebrities tweet their reaction as Theresa May unveils her 12 point plan for Britain leaving the EU.
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President of the European Council, Donald Tusk tweets his frustration.
Theresa May set out her vision for Brexit in January, outlining plans to leave the single market
While China and Britain have a history of disputes over human rights and the future of Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, the export-reliant Asian giant values Britain as a strong advocate for free trade within the EU.
Ties have warmed in the past few years and economic links have multiplied, in what both countries refer to as a “golden age”, though Britain upset China last year by putting on hold a nuclear project that it later approved.
China did not state an opinion prior to the vote but called for a strong and stable Europe
Liu was upbeat about Sino-British ties.
“There is huge potential to be tapped and bright prospects for cooperation.”
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