• China, UK to repair ties

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    LONDON: Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Britain in October should usher in a “golden age” of relations between the two countries, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday in London.

    Xi will stay with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace during the visit, the latest in a series of gradual steps aimed at improving ties between London and Beijing.

    Relations became frosty in 2012 when British Prime Minister David Cameron met exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. The countries have also clashed over protests in Hong Kong, which Britain handed back to China in 1997.

    “We have overcome some difficulties and obstacles and the relationship is able to maintain momentum of growth and it is becoming mature and stable — we are happy to see that,” said Wang.

    He was concluding a three-day visit to London after a second round of talks Wednesday with his British counterpart Philip Hammond.

    “Prime Minister Cameron said the UK is willing to be the strongest supporter of China in the West and we appreciate and recognize that positive posture,” Wang said.

    “We embrace this positive willingness and intention from Prime Minister Cameron and the UK side to build a golden age of China-UK relations and we hope that President Xi’s visit will unveil this golden age.”

    Hammond said Xi’s visit would “give a further impetus to the growing and deepening relationship.”

    The last Chinese state visit to Britain was made by president Hu Jintao in 2005.

    AFP

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