LONDON, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- The past 10 years have seen "sound development in China-UK bilateral relations," including the growth of trade, Chinese investment in Britain and the number of Chinese students in the country, a spokesperson of the Chinese embassy in Britain said Saturday.
The spokesperson made the statement in response to a report carried by The Times newspaper on Friday, which said that "the number of Chinese diplomats in the UK has risen by almost a quarter in the past decade, prompting renewed concerns over the country's political influence in Britain", and that "Chinese diplomats around the world have been accused of displaying so-called 'wolf warrior' diplomacy during the coronavirus pandemic."
"The past 10 years have seen sound development in China-UK bilateral relations," during which a visit by the Chinese leader to Britain in 2015 unveiled the "golden era" of China-Britain relations, the spokesperson said.
In these 10 years, trade between the two countries doubled; Chinese investment in Britain increased 20 times; Chinese students in Britain increased from 100,000 to 220,000; Britain became the largest recipient of Chinese students in Europe, the spokesperson noted.
"The two countries also kept close communication regarding regional and international hot spots," the spokesperson said.
"As the bilateral relations grow and exchange and cooperation in various sectors increase, the workload of the Chinese embassy has risen accordingly and so has the number of staff in the embassy," the spokesperson said. "This is the reflection of the booming relationship. It is reasonable and there is nothing wrong about it."
"Diplomats of the Chinese Embassy and Consulates General in the UK are serving as a bridge between China and the UK and shouldering the important task of promoting understanding and mutually beneficial cooperation," the spokesperson said.
"Every achievement and progress in China-UK relationship is closely connected with their arduous works which deserve fair and just assessment rather than distortion and accusation," the spokesperson said.
"The most important conclusion we could draw from the outbreak of COVID-19 is that mankind belongs to a community with a common future, where people from all countries share weal and woe," said the spokesperson.
"In this battle against the virus, solidarity and cooperation are the most effective weapons," the spokesperson said.
"In face of misinterpretations, misunderstandings and even deliberate slanders on China and malicious depreciation and distortion of China-UK relationship, Chinese diplomats have the duty to tell the real story, uphold justice and refute the lies," the spokesperson said.
"This righteous action of defending the honour and dignity of China and safeguarding the hard-won China-UK relationship brooks no slander," the spokesperson added. Enditem