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Boris Johnson continues trade mission to China

Boris Johnson wants to promote London to the world as a major investment destination Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The Mayor of London continues his six-day trade mission in China today in a drive to encourage closer business links with the UK capital.

It's Boris Johnson's first visit to the country since the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

China is now the world’s second largest economy, worth an estimated $8.2 trillion.

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Easing visas aims to help China buy into Brand Britain

Chancellor George Osborne has said there will be a "streamlining and simplifying" of the visa system for Chinese nationals to head to the UK as he attempts to strengthen business ties with China.

He and London Mayor Boris Johnson have been touring Beijing and meeting with business leaders in an attempt to profit from China's interest in Britain and its culture and industry.

ITV News' China Correspondent Angus Walker reports from the city:


Chinese are big investors in London

Boris Johnson will be meeting Chinese investors this afternoon Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Boris Johnson is meeting high-powered investors this afternoon, including those already pumping money into London.

Current investments in the capital by Chinese companies include a £700 million 5 star hotel scheme on the South London Nine Elms site, a large stake in the company that owns Thames Water and the £500 million pound reconstruction of the Crystal Palace.

Chinese investors have a large stake in the company that owns Thames Water Credit: Thames Water
Chinese companies have a £450 million stake in the holding company that owns Heathrow Airport Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

Chinese companies are also backing the billion pound Chinese business district planned in the Docklands and have a £450 million stake in the holding company that owns Heathrow Airport.

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'Fans' excited over Boris Johnson's China visit

Mayor of London Boris Johnson meets local shoppers in China. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Chancellor George Osborne said he and Boris were "yin and yang". Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Students at Peking University pose with Boris. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire


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Boris Johnson and George Osborne are 'yin and yang'

Chancellor George Osborne joked that he and Boris Johnson are like "the yin and the yang" as they both continued their visit to China.

George Osborne said he and Boris Johnson are like "yin and the yang". Credit: Matt Dunham/PA Archive

Asked about the timing of their trips which saw the Chancellor and London Mayor in China at the same time, Mr Johnson joked with Beijing students that they were like a "pair of harmonious doves".

The London Mayor was asked who was in charge and he replied: "We are representing our country. It's a nest of singing birds is how I would describe it. It's total harmony, there's probably some Chinese expression that completely perfectly culminates it."

The Chancellor intervened: "The yin and the yang."

Mr Johnson then turned to a Chinese student, asking: "The yin and the yang. What do you say for a harmonious, sounds like one of those Chinese fireworks, a harmonious dove or something like that? A pair of harmonious doves. What is that in Chinese?"

After she looked back blankly, Mr Osborne said: "I think she likes the yin and yang comparatively."

Mayor addresses Chinese students

Boris Johnson has this morning addressed students at Peking University as part of his week-long tour to promote foreign investment in London.

The mayor was joined for the speech at the University by the Chancellor, George Osborne.

This afternoon Mr Johnson will meet his counterpart, the Mayor of Beijing and the boss of Wanda Group, who part funded the development of the Nine Elms area in Battersea. He'll also visit a Beijing Hutong and will conclude Day 2 of his trip with a dinner at the Chinese Entrepreneurs Club.

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Boris: China visas move a 'welcome step forward'

London Mayor Boris Johnson has praised the move to simplify and speed up visa applications for Chinese nationals as a "welcome step forward".

Mr Johnson, who is also on a trade visit to China, said he was pleased the Government had listened to him on simplifying the visa system for Chinese people.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson is currently on a trade visit to China. Credit: PA Wire

He said: "I'm pleased that the Government has listened to the many voices, mine included, who have called repeatedly for a streamlining and simplification of the Chinese visa system.

"The move will hopefully encourage ever greater numbers of Chinese tourists to London. We should be doing everything we can to drive Chinese visitors to our capital."

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