China a potential winner in Britain-EU breakup
BEIJING: China is a potential winner if Britain and the European Union rework trade deals and look for investors after a British exit.Chinese leaders urged Britain to stay in the 28-nation EU and have avoided mentioning possible benefits of a split.
Beijing faces a blow from weaker European demand for its exports and pressure to hold its yuan steady in turbulent currency markets.
Director of the Center for China Europe Relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing Zhang Lihua said, “One of the benefits China can gain from ‘Brexit’ is a stronger and closer economic relationship with the U.K. and even with the EU. Both the U.K. and the EU need that kind of cooperation with China under the current circumstances.
The country’s top economic official, Premier Li Keqiang, said Beijing wants to see a “united and stable” EU and a “stable and prosperous” Britain – a possible reference to concern the vote might inspire separatist sentiment in other EU members or parts of the United Kingdom.
“We are seeing increasing uncertainties in the world economy,” Li said in a speech at the World Economic Forum in the eastern city of Tianjin. “We need to jointly handle challenges, strengthen confidence and create a stable international environment.”
Europe is China’s biggest trading partner, and Chinese investors already see the region as more welcoming than the United States, where some acquisitions have been stymied by security concerns.