British people would like to see more Chinese tourists, easier visas for businessmen and a closer trading partnership with China.
Chancellor George Osborne and London Mayor Boris Johnson went on a charm offensive in China this week in a move aimed at building trade links and attracting more Chinese visitors to the UK. George Osborne told students in Beijing "Let me make this clear to you and to the whole of China. There is no limit to the number of Chinese who can study in Britain. No limit to the number of Chinese tourists who can visit. No limit on the amount of business we can do together.”
The public seem to share Osborne’s enthusiasm on building stronger relationships with China.
37% would like more Chinese tourists to come to the UK and a further 35% are happy with the current level. Just 9% would like to see less Chinese tourists.
The trip was accompanied by a relaxation of visa restrictions to make it easier for Chinese already in the EU to visit the UK. There had been concerns that visa restrictions were preventing British businesses from taking advantage of the boom in Chinese consumerism.
Again, the public seem supportive of making it easier for Chinese to visit the UK.
40% think that it should be easier for both Chinese businesspeople and Chinese tourists to come to the UK. Just 10% feel it should be made harder for businesspeople to come to the UK, 8% for tourists. 32% and 36% think the current system is about right for businesspeople and tourists respectively.
China tops the list of regions that the UK should forge closer trading partnerships with (53%), somewhat ahead of Europe (35%), Australia and New Zealand (34%) and North America (33%).
The Chinese people also seem to be giving a good impression of themselves. They come second for favourability amongst the BRIC nations with a net score of +33%, just behind the Brazilians (+34%) but significantly ahead of the Indians (+7%) and the Russians (-19%).