Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, has hinted to David Cameron that he wants Britain to stay in the European Union. He hinted this, because according to reports, Xi believes that the UK is ideally placed to promote European trade with China. Cameron wants to renegotiate EU membership terms ahead of a referendum by the end of 2017.
William Dartmouth, Ukip Euro MP, kind of agreed and commented, “As a successful, independent free-trading nation, Britain will have far more influence over the direction of EU policy than we do today”.
Meanwhile, critics are saying that it was improper for the UK to roll out the red carpet for a leader whose government is accused of human rights abuse. Plus, China has also been blamed for harming UK steel with cheap imports. Political observers feel that Xi Jinping’s hint will only make this visit even more controversial.
Peter Bone, the Conservative Eurosceptic MP was quick to state, “I think the President of China should be looking at his human rights record and trade policies rather than telling British people they need to be part of the EU”.
It was the Chinese foreign ministry that first reported the discussion between the two leaders. The issue was raised during talks at Chequers on Wednesday. However Downing Street has downplayed these discussions, saying that “EU was not a particularly large part of the Chequers talks”.
“China hopes to see a prosperous Europe, a united EU and hopes Britain, as an important member, can play an even more positive and constructive role in promoting the deepening development of China-EU ties”, said the Chinese foreign ministry.
President Xi was visiting Manchester when the two leaders met for a discussion. He was visiting scientific, football and business venues in the city. The Chinese head of state was greeted by crowds waving huge flags that have been apparently shipped from Beijing. Xi Jinping’s state visit ended on Friday.