Boris Johnson said British children should be taught the Chinese language Mandarin as standard in schools.
The Mayor of London, who is studying Mandarin himself, suggested Britons should be learning as much as possible about China as it continues to expand its global influence.
When he was asked whether children should learn Mandarin as standard in schools, he said, "Why not? Absolutely. My kids are learning it so why not? Definitely, definitely."
Johnson, who is just over halfway through a six-day trade mission in China, said he was leaning Mandarin "from the beginning," as he brandished a folder on which he had written "central kingdom", or "China", in the language.
Boris Johnson and George Osborne head south today on their trade missions to China - the first after a chilly period in political relations.
Chancellor George Osborne has announced two new deals with China, one on nuclear power and the other on Chinese banks in the UK.
The Chancellor George Osborne aims to build bridges with China in his high profile trade mission to the country.