The UK should treat China as a trading partner rather than a threat, a British government minister said today at the end of an official visit to the region.
Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt said in Shanghai that a delegation of government, business and union leaders had been “deeply impressed” by China’s dynamic growth.
“Too many people in the West see China as a threat. In reality, China is a challenge to us in Britain and the rest of Europe to raise our game by improving our skills, investing in science and increasing our productivity.
"Above all, China is an opportunity and a trading partner to be embraced.”
Ms Hewitt was accompanied by TUC general secretary Brendan Barber, CBI director general Digby Jones, Gerry Murphy, chief executive of Kingfisher, Tony Woodley, general secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, Kevin Curran, leader of the GMB and other industrialists.
Trade between the UK and China has grown by 24% over the past year and is now worth more than £10bn (€14.6bn).