On June 17, 2021, the United Kingdom and China signed an agreement to strengthen their economic ties. The agreement, which comes at a time when the world is facing economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is expected to boost trade and investment between the two nations.
The agreement, signed by UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and China`s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, covers areas such as agriculture, food and drink, creative industries, and financial services. It also aims to make it easier for UK companies to do business in China and vice versa.
One of the key aspects of the agreement is the removal of tariffs on a wide range of goods. This will make it easier and cheaper for businesses in both countries to trade with each other. The agreement also includes measures to improve cooperation on intellectual property rights, which will benefit businesses operating in the creative industries.
The agreement is a significant milestone in the UK`s post-Brexit trade strategy. With the UK having left the European Union, forging new trade deals with other nations is a top priority. The agreement with China will help to bolster the UK`s exports and attract more investment from Chinese businesses.
China is the UK`s sixth-largest trading partner, and the two countries have a long history of economic cooperation. The new agreement builds on this existing relationship and takes it to the next level. It is a clear demonstration of the UK`s commitment to strengthening its global trade relationships.
However, the agreement has not been without controversy. Some critics have raised concerns about China`s human rights record and its treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province. They argue that by signing a trade deal with China, the UK is effectively turning a blind eye to these issues.
In response to these concerns, Truss has said that the UK is committed to “holding China to its international commitments on human rights”. She has also emphasized that the agreement includes measures to improve labor standards and protect workers` rights.
Overall, the UK-China agreement is an important step forward in the UK`s post-Brexit trade strategy. By strengthening its economic ties with China, the UK has the potential to increase its exports and attract more investment. While there are valid concerns about China`s human rights record, the UK government has stated that it is committed to addressing these issues while still pursuing a mutually beneficial trade relationship.