Call between Xi Jinping and Boris Johnson

Chinese leader Xi Jinping held an official call with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 19th February to thank the UK for its recent cooperation in the fight against COVID-19.

The call was also notable for Mr. Xi’s expression of confidence that the virus won’t derail China’s economy, even though large parts of the country’s industry have come to an effective standstill in recent weeks.

Also during the call, Mr. Johnson offered Mr. Xi warm words regarding the UK’s attitude towards Chinese investment.

CBBC View: Coming on the heels of the UK’s decision to allow Huawei to participate in building out the country’s 5G network, it’s clear the Johnson government is taking a positive attitude towards UK-China economic ties. 

Assuming his attitude is reciprocated, that should also be a good sign for British businesses operating in or looking to expand into China. 

On COVID-19: Mr. Xi expressed his gratitude to the Queen and Mr. Johnson for their sympathies and material support during the ongoing epidemic, and stressed that China would continue to cooperate with the UK and other countries in an open and transparent manner.

On China’s economy:  Mr. Xi said China’s economy is resilient enough to weather the shock of the current crisis. He further expressed his confidence in China achieving this year’s economic and social development targets.

UK-China relations: Both leaders stressed their commitment to multilateralism, free trade, and the peaceful resolution of international issues and challenges.

Mr.Johnson expressed his admiration of China and said that he personally loved China. He also gave assurances that the UK would continue to assist and support China during this difficult period.

According to Xinhua, the Prime Minister added that “he stands ready to lead the new British government to work with the Chinese side to strengthen exchanges at all levels, deepen cooperation in various fields, and push for continuous achievements in the ‘golden era’ of bilateral relations”.

The Prime Minister also stressed that Britain welcomes Chinese investment and wants to strengthen its cooperation with China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative.

Environment: Mr. Johnson and Mr Xi agreed to enhance coordination for the 2020 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow and the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity in Kunming as an important signal for international cooperation on climate change and environmental protection.


Chinese Press Release

UK Press Release

Torsten Weller
China Policy Analyst
China-Britain Business Council

Categories: Uncategorized

%d bloggers like this: