China and Britain need to seek common ground while shelving differences and respect each other's core interests, Chinese President Xi Jinping told British Prime Minister Theresa May, following a recent dispute over Hong Kong.
China said last month a joint declaration with Britain over Hong Kong, which laid the blueprint over how the city would be ruled after its return to China in 1997, was a historical document that no longer had any practical significance.
In response, Britain said the declaration remained in force and was a legally valid treaty to which it was committed to upholding.
China says no foreign country has a right to get involved with Hong Kong as it is an internal affair for China, and has also reacted angrily to six-monthly reports the British government gives to Parliament about Hong Kong.
Meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the German city of Hamburg on Friday, Xi told May that bilateral relations should be cultivated on the basis of "consolidating strategic mutual trust", China's foreign ministry said on Saturday.