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What China wants from Britain

First published: The Financial Times, 19/10/2015

More than a decade has passed since a Chinese head of state last visited Britain; these two countries are very far from being peers. Yet President Xi Jinping’s trip to London this week illustrates how the relationship between them has grown stronger, just as Beijing’s dealings with Washington have become strained.

Britain has long been courting Chinese capital to finance everything from railways and residential property to nuclear power stations. As recently as a decade ago, Chinese backing for such projects was unheard of. But in 2011, tired of watching export earnings pile up idly in huge mountains of foreign exchange, Beijing started investing its wealth overseas via more direct investment….Read more: