China Relationship A Source Of Prosperity - Brown
China relationship "a source of prosperity" - PM
Gordon Brown has spoken of the growing importance of the UK's relationship with China ahead of his visit to the country later this month.
In an interview with Sir Trevor McDonald for ITN news, the PM said that "tens of thousands of British jobs" could be created in the future as a result of Britain's long-term relationship with China. The UK was enjoying a "massive expansion" in trade with Asia's new economic giant and its population of more than one billion people, he said.
The PM said:
"The important thing...is to build a relationship with a country where we can influence the development of a country by working together with the Chinese people over a long period of time.
"And I think what British people will be looking to see is whether we can build a strategic relationship with one of the biggest countries in the world, a country that is moving forward very fast, and at the same time be sensitive to the needs of people in the economic and social development of China."
The PM also noted the deep connections being made in the field of education, with large numbers of students travelling to the UK from China and many British universties establishing links with Chinese counterparts. The UK was proving highly successful in "selling education" in China, he said.
Asked about human rights, Mr Brown said that progress was being made and that he looked forward to a dialogue meeting involving China to take place in March.
The Prime Minister will visit China and India later in January, his first visits to both countries since arriving at Number 10.