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Xi told Britain's May he is open to bilateral trade deal: UK official

[HANGZHOU, China] Chinese President Xi Jinping told British Prime Minister Theresa May he was open to a bilateral trade agreement between the two countries, a British official told reporters at the G20.

"Mr Xi said that they wanted to look at how we could strengthen our trading and economic relationship and that China was open to a bilateral trade arrangement with the UK," the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

The official also said Mr Xi had told Ms May that China would remain patient while her government gets to grips with decisions taken by her predecessor.

Since taking office, Ms May has delayed a decision on whether to back a nuclear project at Hinkley Point that is being partly financed by the Chinese. "He recognised the new government would need to take some time before reaching decisions on some agreements pushed by the last government. President Xi said that they had the patience to wait for a resolution on those issues."

Asked whether that was a reference to Hinkley Point, the official said it was implicit that Mr Xi was referencing decisions of that nature, but that Hinkley was not specifically mentioned.

REUTERS