Rana Mitt, professor of modern and contemporary Chinese history and political science at Oxford University, director of the China Research Center and academician of the British Academy of Sciences, said in an exclusive interview with reporters that Britain-China economic and trade cooperation has great potential and close human relations.
Britain-China relations are an excellent example of close cooperation between Britain and economies outside the European Union.
Referring to the current status of cooperation between the two countries in the financial field, Mitt believes that the extensive and in-depth financial cooperation between Britain and China is an excellent example of Britain’s enhanced cooperation with the wider world economy outside the European Union when formulating its global development agenda.
What we need to do is not to think too macroscopic, but to think intelligently about which fields the UK has special expertise and where it can provide useful services to important countries in the world like China? The internationalization of RMB is a very interesting thing, but it is not a fast-moving thing.
This means that China’s journey to seek to make the RMB a currency for international trade is now only halfway through. London is a good partner in this regard, because London has more experience than any other major financial center in the world, and has a unique advantage in handling foreign exchange transactions and identifying things that are particularly useful for different types of economies. Therefore, cooperation in the financial field is very positive and beneficial to both sides.
Mitt said that Britain is currently in the final period of transition from the EU, and from January 1, 2021, the UK will basically take full control of its own trade policy. Britain has many goals in establishing new trade relations.
He believes that the first task of the British government at present is to reach a trade agreement with the European Union.
He stressed that China’s share of trade in the UK is still relatively small, about 3 or 4 percent of GDP, so the real question is how to expand it in the future rather than maintain the current level of trade.” I think people will naturally have interest in entering the Chinese market. If it can be summed up in one word, it is service.
For example, compared with Germany, the UK is a service-oriented economy, with about 80% of British services exports. Therefore, I think that finding a way to make it easier for British services to enter the Chinese market is the real challenge at present.
According to the latest research report, the United Kingdom surpassed the United States for the first time this year and has become the preferred destination country for Chinese students to study abroad.
Mitt is very optimistic about this trend. He said: “British higher education departments and universities are very welcome to Chinese students. Personally, I think it is a great thing for us to educate so many international students from such a huge, important and world-leading country! What I want to say is that my expectation is that if the UK continues to work to make it a world’s knowledge center – this is indeed one of the directions Britain is looking for, which cannot do so if students are excluded from the world’s most populous countries.
At the same time, more generally, China has a very, very focused interest in education. So I want to say that I think the trend of Chinese students getting educated in the UK will continue. I think it will expand further.
Mitt has been visiting China since the end of the last century and attends two or three academic conferences every year and participates in various discussions that not only give him a glimpse of China’s natural landscape, but also gives him a deeper understanding of China’s background and history.” Because I am a historian, I find that the most touching and impressive thing about China is my main academic field of study, and I try to bring these findings to a wider audience, that is, to understand the long journey between China’s wartime in the 1930s and 1940s and today’s history.
Therefore, I spent a lot of time visiting important places during World War II, such as important cities such as Chongqing, or places where famous battles took place in Taierzhuang. In fact, all these places I have visited in the past are an exciting discovery of Chinese history in these years.