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President Xi Jinping addresses UK parliament

Reporter: Iain McKinnell 丨 CCTV.com

10-21-2015 19:22 BJT

Full coverage: President Xi Visits UK

Full coverage: China’s Leaders

Chinese President Xi Jinping has addressed British political leaders and lawmakers at Westminster. Xi spoke about the history of Britain's friendship with China. The Chinese president said both countries are increasingly interdependent, and that he is certain they can take their bilateral relations to new heights. 

Xi's speech drew praise from British lawmakers. The Chinese president was warmly welcomed to the UK during a grand ceremony before he attended a state banquet at Buckingham Palace hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.  

A community of shared interests. China and Britain are closer than ever. That's the message Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered to both Houses of the British Parliament.

Xi said:"The UK was the first Western power to recognize the People's Republic of China and the first EU member to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership with China. The UK is also the leading offshore RMB trading center after Hong Kong. The UK hosts more Chinese students and Confucius Institutes than any other EU country. Moreover, the UK was the first western country to issue RMB sovereign bonds and the first major western country to apply for membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. It is fair to say that China and the UK are increasingly interdependent and becoming a community of shared interests."

Quoting Shakespeare as well as ancient Chinese proverbs, President Xi urged the two countries to turn the page on a new chapter of even stronger ties.

"Shakespeare wrote 'what has passed is prologue'. We are in an age of pursuing peace and development. It is also an age when countries have to meet challenges and work together. As a Chinese saying goes, 'a mountain can never be too high, nor an ocean too deep.' This great new age enables both of us to join hands and move forward from the new departure point of our comprehensive strategic partnership," said Xi.

More than 500 people were present to hear Xi's speech. The audience included representatives from the royal family, Prime Minister David Cameron and Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn.

After the speech, British lawmakers were full of praise for what the Chinese president had to say.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, member of the House of Commons said:"I've heard a lot of special speeches. I've been a member for 23 years.This is certainly one of the most thoughtful and special. Final phrase is very important, that our relationship is growing and deepening. It's really an important thing."

Nathanael Ming-Yan Wei, member of the House of Lords said:"The speech is well measured, emphasizes the long history, of both countries and our systems. The room was completely full. There is great interest in parliament and in the UK in this visit, and it's been a great start."

Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan were welcomed to Britain in grand style. A ceremonial guard rode alongside, as Xi and Queen Elizabeth proceeded down the Mall towards Buckingham Palace.

From their window, they looked upon a sea of welcoming faces and banners wishing the Chinese president a successful state visit.

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