Ambassador of the United Kingdom (UK) to China Barbara Janet Woodward provides encouragement to Wuhan and will stay in Beijing

BEIJING,CHINA / ACCESSWIRE / February 25, 2020 / The novel coronavirus outbreak(COVID-19)in China has gained world’s attention recently. The U.K. government had donated vital medical equipment to Wuhan, including tens of thousands of protective medical gowns, medical masks and gloves, to help the public health service and front-line medical staff to cope with COVID-19, according to Barbara Janet Woodward, the British Ambassador to China.

Barbara Janet Woodward said,she is honored to stay in Beijing and witness the tenacity and fortitude of the Chinese people. The UK and China work together to eliminate the global threat of new outbreaks. The UK fully supports the Chinese government in taking active and strong measures for the epidemic, sharing data and collaborating with global scientific community to prevent the spread of the epidemic worldwide.

Novel coronavirus pneumonia has affected China’s local economy and trade and investment activities, and China’s outbound tourism and shopping are decreasing. According to the BBC (February 17, 2020), the number of customers at the Bicester village, a famous British discount village in Oxfordshire, has recently declined significantly, and sales are facing a huge decline. According to statistics, the number of Chinese customers who come to shop has dropped by about 85%.

In the short term, the epidemic will affect China’s economic growth, but it will not fundamentally change China’s consumption pattern. “Although China is currently going through a critical stage of epidemic prevention and control, these figures remind us that the great potential of long-term cooperation between our two countries will not change,” Matthew Lawes, head of the UK China Trade Association, said in an interview with Chinese media. He believes the cooperation between the two countries in retail, science and technology, health and other fields will continue to grow. It is too early to assess the impact of the outbreak.

After the outbreak of SARS in 2003, Britain’s exports to China fell sharply, but rebounded significantly in the second half of the year. According to the 2019 UK foreign trade data released by the UK National Bureau of statistics, the UK’s exports to China reached a new high in 2019, and China is the third largest export market of the UK.

Meanwhile, the British government has no plans to impose travel restrictions on Chinese citizens to the UK and strive to resume visa business in China as soon as possible to welcome Chinese tourists to the UK.

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