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Ahead of Scottish breakaway vote, China says wants a united UK
June 17, 2014 / 6:12 PM / in 3 years

Ahead of Scottish breakaway vote, China says wants a united UK

LONDON (Reuters) - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday he would like to see the United Kingdom stay together, expressing his opinion three months before Scots are due to vote on whether to end their 307-year-old union with England.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (R) listens to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speak during a news conference in London June 17, 2014. REUTERS/Neil Hall

When asked at a news conference during his first official trip to Britain what impact a Scottish breakaway decision would have on the attractiveness of the UK as a foreign partner, Li signalled he thought the UK would be better off together.

“We welcome a strong, prosperous and united United Kingdom. I believe the United Kingdom can stay at the forefront in leading the world’s growth and development and also continue to play an important and even bigger role for regional stability and global peace,” Li told reporters.

Scots are due to vote on Sept. 18 with opinion polls showing a majority will vote to remain part of the UK but also showing that many people remain undecided.

Earlier this month, both U.S. President Barack Obama and former U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said they would prefer Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom.

Li echoed Obama’s point that it was up to the Scots to decide themselves.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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