Chancellor George Osborne will today hold talks with Chinese premier Li Keqiang aimed at deepening Sino-UK financial co-operation.
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.
In a clear sign of the Government’s determination to boost trade with the rapidly growing Chinese economy, Mr Li was granted a highly-coveted audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace as well as meeting David Cameron in Downing Street.
Among the issues being discussed today will be the greater internationalisation of the Chinese currency, the renminbi.
Mr Osborne has been determined to estalish the City a major global trading hub in the renminbi since leading a trade mission to Beijing last year when he signed agreements allowing Chinese investment banks to open branches in the UK.
Among the deals signed yesterday were agreements between the London Stock Exchange and the Bank of China and the Agricultural Bank of China to strengthen the renminbi offshore market in the UK and to provide access to cash for Chinese companies.
Other agreements could open the way for Chinese investment in Britain’s £50 billion HS2 high speed rail project.
At a joint news conference with Mr Cameron at the Foreign Office, Mr Li was forced publicly to defend China’s controversial human rights after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the country was still involved in “large-scale and systematic” abuses.
Mr Li told reporters that the two countries at “different stages of development” and that over the past 30 years China had lifted 600 million people out of poverty.
He added: “I believe on many issues our two countries can learn a lot from each other and at the same time we are also choosing our own path in accordance with our national conditions.”