China and Britain look forward to a “new period of historic opportunity” to deepen cooperation post-Brexit, officials said on Saturday, as they accelerated plans to connect the London and Shanghai stock markets.
Visiting British finance minister Philip Hammond has been cozying up to Beijing, with the relationship between the two countries growing in importance as the UK contemplates its economic future once it leaves the European Union in 2019.
“Britain’s post-Brexit plans ... have ushered in a new period of historic opportunity for China-UK pragmatic cooperation on economic development and trade”, Chinese vice premier Ma Kai told a press briefing, following discussions with Hammond and his accompanying trade delegation.
The UK has said it will leave the EU’s single market and customs union so that it can strike its own trade deals with countries outside the bloc, making China - and its deep pockets - an attractive ally.
The agreements come as Frankfurt and Paris are jockeying with London to attract Chinese investments and supersede the British capital as a global financial centre.