Xi talks with British PM over phone

BEIJING, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday afternoon held a phone conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Noting that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level between China and Britain, Xi said that the bilateral relationship in the past half century has witnessed continuous growth on the whole despite some ups and downs.

The trade volume between the two countries has increased from 300 million U.S. dollars to 100 billion dollars, and the two-way investment stock has risen from almost zero to 50 billion dollars, Xi said.

Last year, bilateral trade reached a new high, and China's investment in Britain more than tripled, Xi said, adding that British-funded enterprises have actively participated in China's reform and opening up, and London has become the world's largest offshore RMB trading hub.

The two countries have coordinated and cooperated in such fields as global development and climate change, and have made positive contributions to tackling humanity's common challenges, Xi said.

Noting that China and Britain have different domestic conditions and development paths, Xi said the two sides should take a strategic and long-term perspective, respect each other, keep an open and inclusive mindset, promote dialogue and communication, and expand mutually beneficial cooperation.

Xi said that China is willing to conduct dialogue and cooperation with Britain in a frank, open and inclusive manner, and hopes that the British side would view China and China-Britain relations in an objective and impartial light, and work with China in promoting a continuous development of bilateral ties.

For his part, Johnson said that Britain-China relations are of great importance. Trade between Britain and China has been growing rapidly, and Chinese students in Britain outnumber those in any other European countries, of which, he said, Britain is very proud.

Britain and China, two permanent members of the UN Security Council, share common interests on many issues and can work with each other on many things, he said.

He also said that Britain is willing to have candid dialogues with China, strengthen bilateral exchanges and cooperation, expand bilateral economic and trade cooperation and deepen communication and coordination on such global issues and regional hotspots as climate change and bio-diversity.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine.

Xi expounded China's principles and position, stressing that the international community should truly promote peace talks, create conditions for the political settlement of the Ukraine issue and push for Ukraine's return to peace at an early date.

The Chinese side is ready to continue to play a constructive role in this regard, he added.