Osborne hails 'momentous progress' in UK-China links

George Osborne hailed the "momentous progress" in links between the UK and China as he set out his ambitions for the City of London to be the major offshore hub for trade in the Chinese currency.

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Cable: Don't 'lecture' China on human rights

Vince Cable speaks to bankers and City bosses in the City of London Credit: Laura Dale/PA Wire

Vince Cable has said that Britain must recognise China's economic achievements instead of focusing on "lecturing" the country on its human rights record.

"As far as human rights is concerned I don't think we should be lecturing the Chinese, but it is right we have a proper dialogue with them about it," he told the CNN's The Business View.

"When I was in China I raised with senior party officials issues around trade union rights and strikes.

"But I think it's got to be done in a certain tone and I think must be accompanied by respect for what the Chinese have accomplished," he said.

Britain an 'old declining empire' says Chinese paper

The front page of the Global Times online edition. Credit: Global Times/screengrab

A Chinese newspaper has described Britain as an "old declining empire" in an editorial criticising UK press reports of the Chinese premier's visit to London.

The Global Times paper, run by the country's Communist regime, hit back at reports that China had demanded Prime Minister Li Keqiang was granted an audience with the Queen, which it cited as evidence of anti-Chinese prejudice.

"A rising country should understand the embarrassment of an old declining empire and at times the eccentric acts it takes to hide such embarrassment," the paper wrote in an editorial.

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China PM: Deal should be a 'win-win cooperation'

Li Keqiang said the China-UK partnership is a benefit for the whole world. Credit: ITV News

China's premier Li Keqiang has said the UK-China trade deals may mean a "win-win co-operation" that could benefit the "two peoples and the whole world."

Today's meeting at the UK-China financial forum comes after the signing of yesterdays trade deals, worth £14 billion.

In a speech on the final full day of his visit to the UK, Mr Li said that China and the UK should view each other's development as an opportunity for growth.

Osborne: 'Huge step forward' in UK-China trade deals

Chancellor George Osborne has welcomed a Pound-Yuan Interbank Market between the two countries, stating that it will help Britain build further links with China, by getting its "currency used and traded in London".

Mr Osborne said that both the UK and China have made "huge steps forward" in building progress, saying that the future belongs to those "ambitious for reform."

Osborne spoke of the importance of the UK-China relationships. Credit: ITV News

In a speech at Lancaster House in London, Mr Osborne said: "I believe the emergence of the Chinese currency as one of the world's leading currencies will be the next huge change in global finance.

"Quite bluntly, I want the City of London to facilitate that change and to be central to it," he said.

Osborne to hold trade talks with Chinese premier

The Chancellor George Osborne will hold trade talks with the Chinese premier Li Keqiang aimed at deepening Sino-UK trade ties.

Xu Shaoshi, with Business Secretary Vince Cable yesterday. Credit: Reuters

The meeting of the UK-China financial forum, on the final full day of Mr Li's visit to London, comes after the signing yesterday of trade deals between the two countries worth £14 billion.

Yesterday Mr Ling and his wife met with the Queen in Windsor Castle.

PM gives Downton Abbey script to China's premier

Hugh Bonneville, Joanne Froggatt, Michelle Dockery, Shirley MacLaine, Elizabeth MacGovern and Brendan Coyle 'Downton Abbey' photo call Credit: Tammie Arroyo/EMPICS Entertainment

David Cameron gave Chinese premier Li Keqiang a special memento of his trip to the UK - a copy of the shooting script for the first episode of Downton Abbey signed by the hit show's creator.

The period drama, which has been a big hit in China, was written by Julian Fellowes, who was made a Tory peer by Mr Cameron in 2010.

Mr Cameron also handed the premier a special £10 gold coin. The lunar coin was designed by artist Wuon-Gean Ho and celebrates the Chinese year of the horse. The final gift was a DVD box set of works by Charles Dickens.

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China backs No vote for Scottish independence

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a press conference at the Foreign Office in central London. Credit: Press Association Images/Facundo Arrizabalag

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said he wanted to see a "united United Kingdom" in an apparent boost for the No campaign ahead of September's Scottish independence referendum.

Mr Li was asked about the referendum at a joint press conference with David Cameron in Westminster.

Mr Li said he wanted a "strong, prosperous and united United Kingdom that can stay at the forefront in leading the world's growth and development."

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond responded by saying that "Premier Li is of course entitled to his views" adding "it is noteworthy that he made clear the Chinese government will 'respect the choice' which the people of Scotland make this September whatever it may be".

Osborne: UK China trade deals part of economic plan

Following the announcement of £14 billion worth of bi-lateral trade deals between the UK and China Chancellor George Osborne tweeted:

UK-China trade deals to include BP gas supply contract

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron laugh during a news conference at the Foreign Office Credit: REUTERS/Facundo Arrizabalaga

An £11.8 billion BP gas supply contract was one of a series of deals unveiled during a visit to the UK by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Other bi-lateral trade deals include the possibility of Chinese involvement in the controversial £50 billion high-speed rail project after the two countries agreed that the UK and Chinese rail industries will work together.

Prime Minister David Cameron signed trade deals worth over £14 billion between the UK and China which he described as a reflection of the popularity of the UK as an investment partner for China.

PM: China trade a 'key part' of govt's economic plan

David Cameron has been tweeting from the first day of the Chinese Premier's UK visit:

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