Johnson and Osborne's China trip appears to be doing the business

Chancellor George Osborne and Mayor of London Boris Johnson are in China on trade missions. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Both Boris Johnson and George Osborne head south today as they continue their trade missions to China.

I had a quick chat with Boris Johnson this morning, minutes before he boarded one of China's spanking new high speed trains; destination Shanghai.

The Mayor of London has his reservations about the high speed rail project in the UK: HS2. He says he's broadly in favour but only "if we do it right". He insists that Euston station would need to redeveloped as part of any high speed rail line construction.

He was in an enthusiastic mood as he was rushing to catch the 08:00 G11 service to China's financial capital.

London Mayor Boris Johnson took a trip on Beijing's Metro to see how commuters move about the city. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

He told me he'd last made this journey seven years ago when the vast station he'd just walked though hadn't existed and China was just beginning to build the 10,000 km (6,214 miles) of high speed track it now runs.

The train left on time and will take five hours to get to Shanghai, a journey that used to take double that time by rail.

There was initially a tepid welcome to the Chinese network, people thought the trains would run empty, fares would be too high, but it now seems the Chinese high speed mega project has transformed the country.

Allowing people to bypass the airports, with their all too common delays and frustrations, and travel easily between the many growing cities.

So will today's journey complete the Mayor's conversion to HS2 and overcome his past concerns and doubts?

George Osborne will be visiting two of China's most successful tech companies. Huawei already has a sizeable HQ in Reading and, despite doubts about its links to Chinese cyber espionage in the West, continues to be welcomed to the UK by the Chancellor.

Huawei now plans to build a £125 million research facility in Britain to work on smartphone and internet technology, expanding its existing workforce.

Tencent, another firm on Mr Osborne's itinerary, launched its WeChat app just a couple of years ago and it's now the fifth most actively used app in the world. Tencent's corporate valuation is now almost the same as Facebook.

The Chancellor believes that British tech firms can work with fast moving and innovative Chinese companies to build up a UK reputation for internet and app based technology. Chinese firms are already eyeing offices at London's Tech City.

The trade missions by the Chancellor and the Mayor, the first after a chilly period in China/UK political relations, appear to be doing the business.

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