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Chancellor leads UK delegation seeking greater trade with China

Whether you're interested in China or not, our Chancellor of the Exchequer definitely is, and George Osborne is in the Middle Kingdom to make sure the Chinese know that.

The Chancellor is on a five-day trip to China Credit: PA

He landed in Beijing this afternoon, and within two hours was posing for 'selfies' along Beijing’s 'hutongs' (traditional Chinese alleyways) and was telling the UK and local media that he wants Britain to be China's "best partner in the West", and to share a "golden decade" together.

It's part of a five-day trip by Mr Osborne to China, and he brings with him a host of business and cultural leaders who will be in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Urumqi to make an array of financial and cultural announcements.

It's in an attempt to boost trade with the country. Currently, China accounts for under 4% of the UK's exports, but Osborne is intent on pushing that figure upwards.

However, there's a dark cloud that looms over China because of a volatile summer on the markets and increased concern about its slowing economy.

Those decades of double-digit growth are over and currently stand at 7%, but nobody really knows the truth about these statistics. The Communist Party ensures that.

Mr Osborne hopes to boost UK trade with China, he believes the country offers huge opportunities for Britain Credit: PA

In reality growth could be as low as 3 or 4%. China's miracle rise, fuelled mainly by borrowing, could yet have a hard landing. The prospect is giving the world the jitters, but not Mr Osborne, it seems.

ITV News asked him why he is undeterred by both the faltering economy and it's turbulent markets, and what he's doing to protect the UK as he continues to curry favour with the Chinese regardless.

His response was that China is a vast, economic power that will be the largest in our lifetime. It is undergoing a transition, as it moves from export-led growth to being more reliant on domestic expansion, and it should be supported.

Mr Osborne said he hopes not only to harness business and trade, but to grow a friendship of mutual appreciation Credit: Reuters

Over the next five years, he says, if China grows as is predicted then the value it will add to the world economy will be the equivalent of the economy of the UK, and he wants Britain to be part of that story.

It offers huge opportunities for British people, he says, providing more jobs and a better quality of life.

The Chancellor is here not only to harness business, trade and cultural partnerships, but grow a friendship of mutual appreciation, he told us.

The UK is not to fear China’s rise but fear missing out on what it provides. Where there is a challenge there is an opportunity.