Asian leaders raise economic concerns over Brexit vote

BEIJING, June 24 (UPI) — Britain’s decision to leave the European Union drew mixed reactions from Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul.

During a press briefing on Friday Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing had taken note of the vote.

“Beijing respects the decision of the British people,” Hua said, according to South Korean news service Newsis.

Hua added the decision to leave the EU would naturally impact bilateral relations with Britain.

But Beijing will approach the partnership with Britain and the EU using a “long-term” perspective, the spokeswoman said.

In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took a more proactive approach to the news from London.

During a recorded television debate on Friday, Abe said he is “concerned” about currency fluctuations and that Tokyo is committed to taking “every measure” to guarantee stability in the world’s financial markets, The Japan Times reported.

“British citizens have made a decision to leave the European Union. I’m concerned over risks on currencies and financial markets,” Abe said.

In South Korea, Seoul’s ministry of strategy and finance held an emergency meeting on economic and financial stability.

The South Korean won experienced increased volatility, according to a statement from Seoul.

In order to minimize repercussions on the Brexit vote, Seoul stated it is operating a 24-hour government monitoring and response system, as well as “keeping an eye on the movement of major currencies.”

Risks, however, will be minimized, “given the low level of trade between Korea and Britain,” the statement read.

Ahn Cheol-soo, an opposition party politician, said his party is willing to offer all cooperation with the ruling party’s government in order to minimize the fallout from the Brexit decision.

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