CHINA “needs” a trade deal with post-Brexit UK according to a top expert on the country, who argued it would give a massive boost to the country’s “diplomatic prestige”.
The comments were made by Dr Yu Jie, a research fellow at the Chatham House think tank. She was speaking on last night’s BBC Newsnight. Another Beijing expert agreed there is “no downside for China” in having a free trade deal with the UK.
During a discussion about a post-Brexit trade deal with Britain, Dr Yu said: “China actually needs Britain for the sake of diplomatic prestige.
She argued the leadership of China’s ruling Communist Party historically used the UK, as well as the US, as markers against which to measure their success.
After seizing in 1949 Chinese communist leader Chairman Mao adopted “surpass Britain and catch up with America” as a party slogan.
At the time, the UK, along with the US and USSR, was one of the “big three” allied powers which had led the defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
Isabel Hilton, editor of China dialogue, agreed Beijing would be keen for a comprehensive trade deal with the UK.