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With a planned Chinese financial district in parts of London’s abandoned docklands, and the recent news that Chinese banks have received permission to open branches here, the relationship between the UK and China appears to be in good shape.
This week both London Mayor Boris Johnson and Chancellor George Osborne are in the country to emphasise the attraction for the UK, and London in particular, to Chinese businesses and investors. With its vast population and swiftly growing middle class, the country of China and its people are understandably an attractive proposition in terms of the UK’s international relationships, particularly after the Prime Minister’s meeting with the Dalai Lama last year was not looked upon favourably by China.
It is unclear how much of a coincidence the dual trip was, with the Chancellor’s itinerary being announced after the Mayor’s. However, both politicians have indicated that in their view the coincidence is a happy one, with the pair meeting at a speech that was given at Peking University on Monday. Mr Johnson did not divulge whether he was consulted, advised or informed about the Chancellor’s visit, but he stressed that the pair visiting at the same time could only be good for strengthening links between the two countries. It has been indicated that the Mayor’s trademark style went down well at the university engagement.
Boris Johnson has been enjoying traditional Chinese hospitality, with his meetings at the Beijing government offices being punctuated with refreshments served by Chinese women in traditional clothes. Mr Johnson’s visit has also had the intention of targeting the improvement of science and the environment, and to this extent, a memorandum of understanding has been signed by the two parties. He has also emphasised the similarity between Beijing and London in terms of their reputation for higher education, with many Chinese students coming to London to study, while their home capital can rival London with its number of institutions.
This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.