Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the British Parliament on Tuesday and spoke highly of the relationship that exists between China and the U.K.

During the address, President Xi said China-UK relations have achieved many “firsts” since the very founding of the People’s Republic of China.

For example, Britain was the first great western power to officially recognize People’s Republic of China after its founding in 1949, Xi said.

The Chinese president also stressed that the source of development of China-U.K. ties comes from mutual understanding, support and friendship between the people of both countries.

“Since the founding of a new China in 1949, our two countries have led the way in a number of areas in terms of bilateral relations,” said the Chinese president.

“The UK was the first western power to recognize the People’s Republic of China and the first EU member to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership with China. The UK is also the leading offshore RMB trading center after Hong Kong. The UK hosts more Chinese students and Confucius Institutes than any other EU country. Moreover, the UK was the first western country to issue RMB sovereign bonds and the first major western country to apply for membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank,” said Xi.

“It is fair to say that China and the UK are increasingly interdependent and becoming a community of shared interests,” he added in homage to the strong ties between both nations.

President Xi, accompanied by his wife Peng Liyuan, arrived in London on Monday evening to begin a state visit to Britain at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Xi’s state visit, which will conclude on Friday, is the first by a Chinese president since 2005. Besides visiting London, Xi is also scheduled to make a trip to the city of Manchester.

Story from CCTV News