The story appears on

Page A7

May 16, 2019

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Opinion

Sinologist stresses the importance of Sino-UK ties

A leading British sinologist on Tuesday decried his country’s apathy and urged it to consider its ways of working with China, saying the relationship is as important as the looming Brexit.

“My argument is that, important as leaving the European Union is, it is the way Britain shapes and crafts its relationship with China that will have the larger long-term impact,” said Professor Kerry Brown in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

Brown, a professor of Chinese studies and director of the Lau China Institute at King’s College London, explained: “Unlike the EU, China is fundamentally changing the world in which we live far beyond the confines of Europe.”

“The UK needs to have a knowledge about China that it does not have at this moment,” he added.

Brown noted that Britain needs to have “a much clearer idea” of what it wants from China, whether it is a technology partnership or market access.

He believed that the British government should also strive for a more balanced relationship with China.

Britain, with its expectations of embarking on an era of global involvement and engagement after leaving the EU, should use Brexit as a chance to develop a passion towards Sino-UK relations which seems to merit much more engagement, urged the sinologist.

“We need to adjust our mindsets, revise our vocabularies, and reset our standard map of the world,” he said. “Opposition to China or attempts to exclude it is futile.”

‘Knowledge imbalance’

If, or when, Brexit is implemented, Brown noted, Britain needs to find different relationships outside the EU, and its relationship with China is obviously one of the key ones.

In a newly published book “The Future of UK-China Relations,” Brown, who is an associate of the Asia Pacific Program at London’s world-leading think tank Chatham House, urged a new kind of relationship between the two countries “where the past is so heavy.”

As Britain recalibrates its long-established international relationships, it is worth remembering that China and Britain have much in common, he wrote.

For the UK, a constructive relationship with China in finance, intellectual partnerships, sports and the creative industries could provide a path to a brighter future, he added.

Brown believes that Britain, with positive events and mutual successes, has the potential to offer a model for the rest of the world in terms of how to work with the world’s second largest economy. This is in spite of the drastically different social systems.

Regretting the “extraordinary knowledge imbalance” in the relationship between China and Britain, Brown said the number of students of Chinese language at UK universities has remained static at 300 despite the exponential growth in China’s economy.

The authors are Xinhua writers.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend