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Great Britain Shows Inclination Towards China with OBOR Initiative

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Britain is getting on to a closer cooperation model with China on the Belt and Road Initiative, the UK envoy to China has said, refuting reports that her country had an “ambiguous” attitude towards the initiative.

Barbara Woodward told the media that Britain was especially keen to work on the initiative in three particular ways, Xinhua news agency reported.

First, she said, British companies were keen to foster partnerships with Chinese companies and take them to third countries along the Belt and Road.

Second, Britain would like to bring some of London’s financing experience to help create a solid financial and legal footing for the big projects of the initiative.

Third, Britain would like to share its experience of international engagement and multilateral organisations as the Belt and Road spreads out, so as to maintain high operational standards.

Woodward also said Britain and China were proposing a bilateral investment fund with a first round of $1.3 billion to create jobs, promote trade and support the initiative.

A British special envoy for the initiative will be named and a council of senior business leaders has been set up in Britain to help realise the fund, the ambassador added.

Philip Hammond, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, described Britain as “a natural partner” in the initiative while attending the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing last year.

The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, aims to achieve infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.

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