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First-ever Chinese tourist flight to Birmingham lands

The first direct tourist flight from China to Birmingham is due to land this morning Credit: PA

The first-ever direct tourist flight from China to Birmingham is due to land this morning.

It is one of three flights chartered by China Southern, the Chinese equivalent of Thomas Cook, and has been made possible by the new runway extension.

If it proves popular, it could mean the scheduling of a permanent flight route.

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Rolls Royce wins £17m China contract

David Cameron is in China on a trade mission Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Rolls Royce has won a £17 million contract to supply China’s energy infrastructure. It will supply PetroChina with equipment and services to expand the flow of natural gas through the Lunnan-Tulufan branch of the second West to East Pipeline Project.

The deal has been signed while the prime minister is on a trade mission to China. More than £5.6 billion worth of deals creating more than 1,500 UK jobs have been signed between UK and Chinese firms during the visit.

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Premier says China may invest in HS2 rail project

China's leadership said the country may invest in the controversial HS2 rail project and a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK.

Speaking after talks with David Cameron on the first day of the Prime Minister's visit to China, Premier Li Keqiang said the two sides had agreed to "push for breakthroughs" on nuclear power and high-speed rail.

Prime Minister David Cameron with China's Premier Li Keqiang. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Mr Li said, "The Chinese side is willing to not only participate but also purchase equities and stocks in UK nuclear power projects, and the UK side is open to this idea."

Speaking ahead of his visit last week, Mr Cameron said, "In terms of HS2, I very much welcome Chinese investment into British infrastructure".

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Birmingham Mayor says Chinese New Year celebration is now 'tradition' in the city

Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr John Lines, says that weather hasn't washed the smiles off faces at the Chinese New Year celebration in Birmingham.

Welcoming in the Year of the snake, revellers packed out the city's Arcadian Centre for an afternoon of festivities.

Celebrations are expected to go on into this evening.

Birmingham ushers in the Year of the Snake

Thousands of people packed out Birmingham's Arcadian Centre today, to join in with Chinese New Year celebrations.

The event is organised by the Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee. On average, the day normally sees around 30,000 people attend the free event.

Last year's festival saw sunshine, whereas it has been a damp afternoon in Birmingham this year. Nevertheless, revellers amalgamated into one of the city's most cultural quarters to usher in the Year of the Snake.

A traditional Chinese dragon entertained the crowd this afternoon.

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