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Britain calls China's BRI a 'vision', offers financing expertise

Britain is eager to forge closer ties with Beijing


Belt and Road Initiative
Belt and Road Initiative

is committed to help realise the potential of China's (BRI), British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Friday, describing the policy as a "vision".

Speaking at a summit in Beijing on China's programme to re-create the old Silk Road joining with Asia and Europe, Hammond said the must work for everyone for it to turn into a sustainable reality and he offered British expertise in project financing.

"The has tremendous potential to spread prosperity and sustainable development, touching as it does, potentially 70 per cent of the world's population, a project of truly epic ambition," Hammond said. "The is committed to helping to realise the potential of the and to doing so in way that works for all whose lives are touched by the project," he added.

"The is an extraordinarily ambitious vision," Hammond said. "To turn that vision into a sustainable reality, it must work for everyone involved."

is eager to forge closer ties with Beijing. The world's fifth-biggest economy will look to re-invent itself as a global trading nation after it leaves the European Union - though it remains unclear when there will be Brexit.

and will hold the next round of their Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) in mid-June in London, Hammond said on Thursday, after months of media reports that talks had been delayed by diplomatic tension.

In the past, the EFD has been used to announce closer cooperation on trade and banking initiatives, and to sign commercial contracts.

However, relations between London and Beijing have been strained in recent years, most notably after a British warship sailed close to islands claimed by in the disputed South China Sea last August.

First Published: Fri, April 26 2019. 20:50 IST