Belfast Telegraph

George Osborne hosts Chinese officials in bid to forge new trade links

George Osborne has met senior Chinese officials to boost trading links between Britain and the Asian economic giant in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union.

Britain could find trading relationships with economies outside the EU increasingly important after the historic Brexit vote left the country's position in the European single market unclear.

A source close to the talks said the Chancellor had "productive discussions on investment, financial services, and fostering stronger trading ties" with Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming and other senior officials at Downing Street.

Mr Osborne restated his aim of extending the "golden era" in UK-China relations in advance of a four day visit to the country later this month, based around the G20 finance ministers' meeting in Chengdu.

He is expected to visit several cities in an attempt to boost ties after the referendum result.

Both candidates to succeed David Cameron as prime minister - Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom - have spoken of the need to continue free trade with the EU but also control immigration.

But some have warned the two positions are incompatible, with membership of the single market potentially contingent on allowing the free movement of EU citizens, suggesting farther-reaching economic ties could become more important in the years ahead.

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