UK foreign secretary to visit China

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is to visit China on Wednesday. He will be Britain's first top diplomat to travel to the country in five years.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday that Cleverly will visit following an invitation by his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.

The spokesperson said China hopes the two countries will work together to uphold the spirit of mutual respect and promote stable development of their bilateral relations.

Among major European countries, German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz visited China in November, and French President Emmanuel Macron traveled there in April this year. They held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Britain maintains a hardline stance against China over the human rights situation in the country and other issues, while upholding a policy of engagement with it.

London says it will continue to call for Beijing to change its policies on maritime activities and human rights. It also says China's cooperation is necessary to tackle climate change.

Cleverly is expected to discuss these issues as well as Russia's invasion of Ukraine during his visit.