>> Two weeks before Britain on whether to stay in the European Union, world leaders are weighing into the debate. But one key trading partner has pretty much kept its mouth shut, China. That doesn't mean Beijing doesn't have an opinion though. People on the inside say it's keen for Britain to stay, Reuters Ben Blanchard explains why.
>> European Union is China's most important trading partner and Britain has always been a very important supporter of free-trade within that union. China really values that voice and it fears that if Britain leaves the EU then that voice for free-trade. That strong voice for free trade just won't be there anymore.
>> But China hasn't exactly come write out and said this, instead, it sent coded comments. Like President Xi Jinping saying, he values a prosperous and united EU during a trip to Britain last year. And state media reports pointing out the potential economic fallout that could result from. These are Beijing's ways of making it's opinion known without breaking one of it's own rules of not meddling in other countries affairs.
>> China thinks that if it is not criticizing other countries then other countries have no right to criticize China for things like human rights and other issues. So that's always been China's long standing policy.>> Diplomats say Beijing also has political reason for wanting the EU to stay together
>> Seeing the block as an important global counter balance to the power of the United States.