SHANGHAI Dec 6 A senior British cabinet
minister sought on Tuesday to assuage concerns in China about
market access in the wake of the Brexit vote, pointing to Hong
Kong's success as a trading hub as proof of Britain's commitment
to keeping its doors open to global business.
Britain has been a popular choice for Chinese investment,
with many firms seeing it as a springboard for the far larger
European Union market. But those plans could now be at risk with
the uncertainly surrounding what kind of market access Britain
will get after it voted to exit the EU in June.
"It is incredibly important that China and our other
partners and friends across the world know, this is in no way
about Britain closing its doors to the outside world," said
British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt at a press conference in
"Our past successes as a nation over many centuries has been
because we've been one of the greatest trading nations on the
planet, you've seen that in this region with the great success
of Hong Kong," Hunt added.
Diplomatic sources say China has been seeking clarity from
Britain about its Brexit plans, nervous about what it means for
"We are committed to having the closest possible trade links
with the EU," said Hunt.
In early November, Hunt said Britain's parliament is highly
unlikely to block the decision to trigger the Article 50 legal
process for leaving the European union, after a British court
ruled the government needs parliamentary approval to start the
(Reporting by Engen Tham and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Shri