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UK rolls out red carpet for Chinese premier’s state visit

UK rolls out red carpet for Chinese premier’s state visit
Last week’s state visit to London by President Xi Jinping was hailed as the opening of a new chapter of cordial Sino-British relations. The Chinese premier was feted by British royalty and businesses alike, with his fellow countrymen based in the UK also laying on enthusiastic welcome parades.

Trade deals were very much part of the agenda, with a major investment by China in the UK’s nuclear power industry unveiled, an interesting prelude to the Lloyd’s Register deal for joint design and development a Chinese floating nuclear power plant announced this week.

UK-based maritime players used the occasion to pledge their support for President Xi’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) plan for a 21st century Maritime Silk Road and interlinked Economic Belt stretching from Asia to Europe.

Maritime satellite telecoms provider Inmarsat welcomed President Xi to its London headquarters as part of the official visit, ceo Rupert Pearce saying the visit reinforced Inmarsat’s “long and trusted relationship” with China, also underscoring its commitment both to strengthen its longstanding partnership with its service provider partners in China and to support President Xi’s “visionary OBOR strategic initiative.”

Inmarsat pointed out that it had already signed an MoU with China Transport Telecommunication & Information Centre (CTTIC) to establish a strategic partnership to deliver Inmarsat’s revolutionary Inmarsat-5 Global Xpress mobile satellite broadband communications connectivity throughout China and OBOR, thereby creates the framework for “an exclusive strategic relationship between Inmarsat and CTTIC to develop business opportunities in China and OBOR.”

The Baltic Exchange took the opportunity of the state visit to announce that it would be contributing to China’s Maritime Silk Road project through close collaboration with the Ningbo Shipping Exchange. As a first step, it has begun posting container freight rates from Ningbo to Europe and the Middle East on it website, weekly every Friday at 16.00 (Beijing time), as a way of better promoting Baltic services to the Chinese market.

Baltic chief executive Jeremy Penn commented: “The publication of the Ningbo Containerised Freight Index on our site underlines our ever-closer ties with the Chinese market. The Chinese government’s Maritime Silk Road project is not only about major port investments but also about closer collaboration with international partners.”