One question hangs over this trip like smog in the Chinese air. Britain may be desperate for a bigger share of China's money and markets but how much do they really need or care about us?
The upbeat official talk of an indispensable partnership between the two countries is challenged by an editorial in the state-run tabloid The Global Times, which declared today that "Britain is no longer any kind of 'big country', but merely a country of old Europe suitable for tourism and overseas study, with a few decent football teams".
An indispensible partnership. That is how David Cameron and his Chinese hosts have agreed to dub their new relationship - forged at what the prime minister today called "warm and successful" meetings in the Great Hall of the People.
Speaking to a lunch of 500 UK and China-based business leaders, he risked speaking a few words in Mandarin designed to sum up the foundations of that partnership - translated the key phrase was "in both sides' interests"
The prime minister has insisted that he will shine a spotlight on the human rights abuses of his hosts. That, of course, was the last trip not this one. After all Sri Lanka, unlike China, is not crucial to what David Cameron calls the global race.
Beijing is a city of promise and of menace. Every visitor here has to choose which to focus on. The PM made his choice today, emphasising Britain's desire to help China fulfil its dream.
Politicians are under pressure to confront the Big Six as energy bills shoot up but the suppliers claim they need to pay for investment in infrastructure and have warned of power cuts in the future. For The Editors, a programme that sets out to ask challenging questions, I wanted to find out whether power cuts are a real risk.
As Mr Cameron's entourage was leaving the public library, a group of screaming women - desperate to make their representations directly to the first world leader to come here - pressed photographs and petitions into our hands
The coat, the accent and, above all, the insight. All combined to make the inimitable John Cole.
His was the voice which made sense of the drama and the upheaval of the Thatcher years; of the rise of Major and the fall of Foot and Kinnock; of three general election campaigns - in 1983, 1987 and 1992.
Take many hundreds of job losses, add the fact they're in a strategic industry, stir in the end of more than half a millennium of shipbuilding history and top it all up with the raw politics of Scottish independence. What you have got is a very potent brew.
Two key questions are likely to dominate the political reaction to the news that shipbuilding is to end at Portsmouth:
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.