Brown offers to waste £50 million in china

  sunny staines 13:45 19 Jan 08
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With china on route to being one of the richest countries and Great Britain being in dire straits why is mr Brown offering China £50 million of tax payers money. I could understand if it was some minor third world country in Africa but not such a wealthy country like China.

  Bingalau 13:49 19 Jan 08

Maybe it's a bribe?

  anskyber 14:00 19 Jan 08

Do not confuse the issue of the fastest growing economy with the richest economy, I think you have.

It looks like a shrewd investment in the British economy to me.

  sunny staines 14:13 19 Jan 08

perhaps I'm not reading between the lines. Only gone on what I read on the link.

  Forum Editor 17:26 19 Jan 08

compared to the huge potential there is for British industries which trade with China in the future. I'm not one of Gordon Brown's greatest fans, but his visit to China will, if handled properly, begin a relationship that will bring enormous benefits to this country. It's the single best thing he's done since he came into office.

The Chinese are very keen to develop friendly trading relationships with western nations, and by and large Chinese people are pro-British; I see it at first-hand when I go there, and if we play our cards right we can become a 'favoured trading partner'. There will be problems - the human rights issue hangs there, like a spectre at the feast - but as long as we understand how to set about influencing Chinese thinking, and don't make the mistake of lecturing them at every opportunity things will gradually improve. The climate change situation is, if anything, an even harder problem to resolve - how do you tell a government that it must hold back the steady rise in the standards of living of a fifth of the world's population, so that it can meet pollution and emission standards agreed by other foreign countries?

Chinese people aren't stupid, they realise what's happening - you could hardly walk down a street in Beijing and not realise it - but they also feel there's nothing that they, the ordinary people, can do. Chinese citizens have lived in a Communist state for so long they can't escape the mindset that says the government knows what to do, and will do it.

Change will come, not from the barrel of a gun, as Mao Tse Tung said, but from within the ruling party culture, and it will be driven by ordinary, mainly young Chinese people who understand the importance of getting on with the rest of us.

In the meantime, the Chinese state is preoccupied with the job of staging the most spectacular Olympic games the world has ever seen.

  Bingalau 18:19 19 Jan 08

Not wishing to hijack this thread, but I watched Gordon Brown inspecting the guard of honour on his arrival. That guard looked immaculate from where I stood. That in turn, makes me think that their military is exceedingly well trained. Not a force to be trifled with.

  Forum Editor 18:34 19 Jan 08

On one occasion I took my wife with me on a trip to Beijing, and naturally she wanted to see Tiananmen square. At the time Beijing was full of people from outside the capital, there to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the People's Republic, there were hundreds of thousands of them milling around.

The government reacts to any big gathering by putting the army onto the streets, just to remind everyone who is in charge, and on that day we saw this policy at first hand. The square was being covered in a new layer of white stone (to cover up the gouges left in the old surface by the tanks when they were in the square for that infamous confrontation) and there was an eight-foot high timber barrier all around the perimeter. We wanted to take a look at what was happening, so we found a crack in the boards and proceeded to peep through.

Within a minute I was tapped on the shoulder, and my wife pointed to the road. A detatchment of about a dozen red guards in full dress uniform had left the road and was marching straight at us. These men were impressive, so say the least. They were all over six feet tall (unusual in China), and were immaculate - they looked like computer-generated clones, with not a wrinkle in the uniform. Red Guard dress uniforms are very impressive, all red and khaki, with red and gold Chinese armbands and cap-badges. They marched up and stopped dead in front of me. One of them spoke, and although I couldn't understand a word he said the meaning was clear - 'Stop what you're doing immediately!'.

We sheepishly sloped off, leaving them to slice away through the crowd in perfect marching order - everyone parted to let them through. The Chinese military in all its glory is a sight to behold.

  DieSse 18:38 19 Jan 08

Hang-on -

£30m to pay the police in full the pay rise they were awarded by independant arbitrator is inflationary and can't be done.

£50m to the Chinese government to do something they can afford to do (and should be doing) for themselves is OK???

I'll believe that this will influence the Chinese when I see a pig fly by.

  anskyber 18:42 19 Jan 08
  Forum Editor 18:43 19 Jan 08

I should add that the army uniforms have changed recently, to the ones you saw on the guard of honour, and in my opinion they aren't so impressive.

  DieSse 18:44 19 Jan 08

And to take us off at another tangent - it's outrageous that the Chinese do not allow the Yuan to be traded freely against other currencies.

No wonder Chinese goods are so cheap and they have a huge trade surplus - their goods prices are held artificially low by the Chinese government.

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