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Last updated at 13:56 BST, Monday, 14 October 2013

Easier UK visas for Chinese proposed

Summary

14 October 2013

Britain's finance minister, Chancellor George Osborne, has announced that the UK will relax its visa restrictions for Chinese nationals. He made the announcement at the start of his week-long visit to China, which is being seen as an opportunity to improve business for British companies and increase Chinese investment in the UK.

Reporter:

Martin Patience

A passport being stamped

How will easing visa rules for the Chinese help the UK?

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Report

In a speech at China's top university the chancellor said there should be no limits on the number of Chinese students and tourists able to visit Britain if they want to. He also stressed that there was no country in the west more open to Chinese investment than the UK.

The chancellor shared the stage at Peking University with London's mayor - Boris Johnson. Their high-profile visits are a sign of a diplomatic thaw between the two countries. Beijing was furious after the prime minister met the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader - the Dalai Lama - last year.

The chancellor's announcement to relax visa rules for Chinese nationals will be welcomed by British businesses. They've been calling on the government to ease restrictions as a way of encouraging more high-spending Chinese tourists to visit the UK.

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Vocabulary

chancellor

high-ranking person in the government. The British Chancellor is responsible for economic and financial matters

no limits

no restrictions

stressed

(here) made its importance clear

high-profile

attracting a lot of attention in the media

a diplomatic thaw

improving relations between two countries

furious

very angry

exiled

sent away from his own country

to relax

(here) to make less strict

high-spending

using a lot of money to buy things

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