Britain's main opposition party leader Jeremy Corbyn said Sunday that a Labour government would seek to strengthen ties with China.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Corbyn also said a Labour government would continue to back plans for a China-funded nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point.
"Labour supports nuclear power as an important part of a low carbon energy mix and would continue to support the construction of Hinkley C," he said.
Construction is underway on the main part of the nuclear power project in Britain funded partly by Chinese investment. It will be the first new nuclear power plant in Britain for more than 20 years.
As a flagship project of China-Britain cooperation, Hinkley Point C is co-invested by a Chinese consortium led by China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and French state-owned power giant EDF, with the Chinese side holding a one-third stake in the project.
Corbyn's restatement of Labour's support for the Hinkley C project came just 24 hours after he said a Labour government would keep and renew Britain's nuclear deterrent.
Corbyn, a long-time opponent of nuclear weapons, has come under fierce fire from the ruling Conservative party with Prime Minister Theresa May saying the defense of Britain should not be entrusted to Corbyn-led Labour.
The opposition leader spent Sunday morning in Liverpool Chinatown, the oldest Chinatown in Europe, meeting leaders of the Chinese community.
At the Pagoda Arts and Cultural Center, he was even given a lesson on playing a Chinese violin by a teenage member of the Chinese Youth Orchestra, the oldest orchestra of its kind in Europe.
Asked what relationship with China a Labour government would seek if elected by the British on June 8, Corbyn said: "There are long, historic links between the UK, the Labour Party and China. It was a Labour government that first recognized the People's Republic of China."
"The next Labour government would seek to strengthen the economic and cultural ties between our two countries and build a constructive partnership on environmental and international issues."
Corbyn also said his party would change immigration rules to make it easier for Chinese students to study at British universities.
"Labour recognizes the huge contribution that international students make to cultural and intellectual life at our universities. We would remove international students from immigration figures and encourage students from China and elsewhere to come to the UK to study."
"We will also encourage British students to study abroad, including in China, to help build relations," he said. [ With just 18 days to go before voting in a snap general election called by Prime Minister Theresa May, the gap between front runners from Conservatives and Labour has continued to narrow.
May's Conservatives have announced radical reforms in pension and care rules that opponents say will badly hit the elderly. The reforms have faced criticism including that from people within May's party.
It has prompted Labour to push for votes of the elderly, with Corbyn vowing to protect pensioners from Conservatives' "attacks" on their incomes.