PICS: Premier Li Charms London

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang inspects a ceremonial parade

China wants to back major UK infrastructure projects and has signed £14bn in trade deals during the premier Li Keqiang’s visit to London. The Asian giant is also wants to improve its ties with Britain which was strained over the UK stance on human rights and Tibet. In another development China and the UK have started the direct trading of the yuan against the pound, in a move that will help reduce currency conversion costs. Both sides are hopeful the direct yuan-sterling trade will help facilitate two-way investment and trade between China and Britain. The move comes as London is aiming to become a yuan offshore centre. Earlier this week, the Bank of England appointed the China Construction Bank as a yuan clearing house in London. A clearing house essentially acts as the middleman between two different parties, and is also the agent through which financial instruments such as shares, bonds and currencies are often traded.