Does China heed Britain's wooing?

  • 3 December 2013
  • From the section UK Politics
  • comments

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"

This morning Mr Cameron began a day in Shanghai in a London black cab - the firm that makes them is now owned by the Chinese. He wants not just to secure more investment in Britain but to sell British products here, from building hospitals to sports cars to - unlikely as it may sound -exporting pig semen, worth an eye watering £45 million a year.

Are the Chinese noticing all this wooing? Business leaders insist they are, but one nationalist newspaper said today that their visitor should acknowledge that the UK is not a big power in the eyes of the Chinese. The editorial in Global Times concluded: "It's just an old European country, apt for travel and study."

The prime minister is out to prove them wrong.