Chinese premier to visit London

Halstead Gazette: Prime Minister David Cameron with Chinese Prime Minister Premier Li Keqiang who will visit the UK next week Prime Minister David Cameron with Chinese Prime Minister Premier Li Keqiang who will visit the UK next week

China's premier Li Keqiang is to visit London for a summit with Prime Minister David Cameron on June 17, Downing Street has confirmed.

The visit by China's second most senior political figure follows Mr Cameron's trip to the Far Eastern giant at the head of a business delegation in December last year, when he held talks on issues ranging from trade to co-operation on cyber-security.

Mr Cameron's official spokesman said that the agenda for the London summit will include a wide range of bilateral issues, including trade, investment, commercial opportunities, energy and cultural ties.

Chancellor George Osborne inadvertently let slip the news of Mr Li's visit last week, when he told an international finance conference that he wanted the UK to be "part of the action" in increased global trade with China and in meeting its growing demand for services.

Mr Osborne also set out his ambition to cement London's status as a hub for dealing in the Chinese currency, the renminbi (RMB).

"China is a fantastically important part of the world economy," the Chancellor said at last week's conference. "Britain's challenge was we weren't doing enough business in China."

He added: "I think as China reaches the stage of development it's at, some of the things the UK is particularly strong at, like banking, like insurance, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, are going to be the kinds of things that the Chinese economy is going to demand more of.

"I want us to be part of the action."

The UK had a "fundamentally great offer" for Chinese firms, he said. "We are very open to that investment, and understand it's a two-way street - we have British investment in China and Chinese investment in Britain."

He added: "We have put a huge priority on making sure that London is the western hub for the offshore RMB."

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