China’s Premier, Wen Jiabao, continued his British visit and promised that he would take measures to increase trade between Britain and China, in particular he offered to whip the Chinese into a frenzy to buy something, anything, British.
“Oh yes, very much so, several shall be whipped until they are pleading with us to let them buy a British car, say a thousand,” said Mr Wen. “That would be a thousand being whipped to buy one car, say the red one over there.”
China, soon to become the leading economy in the world, is thought to be sitting on cash reserves of $3trillion that it wants to diversify and use as investment.
“We have lots of dollars, lots, and Blue Jeans, we make them, like we make everything else,” said the Premier on a tour of Stratford-Upon-Avon. “We don’t have a ‘birthplace of Shakespeare’ though - yet - how much is it?”
With workers in western economies increasingly under pressure from cheap off-shore labour, the Chinese are said to be very keen on encouraging a business model similar to that of the newly re-launched MG car manufacturer.
“Ah yes, under British Leyland you had very expensive local communists that made bad cars,” said Mr Wen. “Now for MG we have very cheap Chinese communists that make anything you tell them how to do. The only striking in my country is done by the back of the supervisors’ hands.”
Mr Wen was introduced to some British shopkeepers as the historic town sweltered under high summer temperatures.
“He is the manager of the factory were everything I sell is made isn’t he? He seemed very nice,” said haberdasher Herbert Billingsworth. “He said that it was very good to see me sweating in my shop, it reminded him of home.”
Mr Wen was quizzed by reporters on the subject of human rights, a subject many in the west are keen to turn a blind-eye to as long as they can still get a great TV for £500. However Mr Wen said that it was important that China and the UK work closely together to ensure a common understanding of basic freedoms.
“In particular I was asked about child labour, and I think that yes, Britain should definitely have as much as possible, ” said the Chinese Premier. “It saves parents a fortune at Christmas as their children don’t want to take their work home with them.”
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