Chinese President Xi Jinping made a public statement about his hopes for a ‘united European Union’ following his visit to Britain and negotiations with David Cameron in October 2015.
In a statement from China’s Foreign Ministry, Xi’s speech is paraphrased as saying:
“China hopes to see a prosperous Europe and a united EU, and hopes Britain, as an important member of the EU, can play an even more positive and constructive role in promoting the deepening development of China-EU ties.”
China is one of the UK’s top six export partners. During the Chinese president’s recent visit the UK government secured commercial trade deals worth almost 40 billion pounds, including the financing of UK nuclear power stations. You can read the full story in the original article from Reuters here.
A 2015 article in the Guardian also notes the following:
As seen from China, the UK is significant on its own as a financial centre. But as a world political and trading power its significance is seen as proportionate to its role in the EU.
Feng Zhongping, the assistant president of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said:
“I think from China’s point of view we don’t think that the UK, or France or Germany or any single European countries can play a global role. But the EU is different. It is the biggest market, and China’s biggest trade partner. The EU is seen as a major power in the world. If the UK left, it would hurt the UK much more than the EU.”