British Prime Minister Boris Johnson started his journey on China's leading social network Weibo on Wednesday by issuing his first two posts in the Chinese language.
"Hello every one, this is British Prime Minister Boris Johnson," began his opening message.
The two posts were issued through the official Weibo account@yingguoshouxiang-the British Prime Minister. The first post was purely text while the second had attached a picture version of the text in the first.
The British leader's Weibo debut came in the aftermath of his phone conversation with China's President Xi Jinping on Tuesday. In his first Weibo post, Johnson referred to the call and said he sent greetings to Chinese people suffering from the coronavirus pneumonia epidemic.
The British government has donated medical equipment to areas plagued by the epidemic, and will continue to offer assistance, he added.
In 2019, trade in goods between China and the United Kingdom totalled $86.3 billion, a year-on-year increase of 7.3 percent and double the figure of a decade ago, according to a recent speech by China's ambassador ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming.
In his Weibo post, Johnson also drew attention to the bilateral commitment to strengthening two-way economic cooperation.
Foreign leaders' interactions with the Chinese public through Weibo have gathered momentum in recent years, serving as a useful tool to promote public diplomacy.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi are among the most enthusiastic leaders using Weibo, and both sent greetings to Chinese netizens earlier this year for the traditional Spring Festival and the lunar Year of Rat.
Johnson's predecessors David Cameron and Theresa May also approached Weibo users during their time in office.