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On Tuesday, the Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang (far left) gave a press conference with David Cameron at the Foreign Office. Crowds of Chinese officials and delegates mixed with British diplomats and business leaders in a set of the FCO’s most glorious rooms, the garish wallpaper shining approvingly down on the melee.

The press conference itself took place in one of the larger rooms, and Chinese security men inspected the television crew’s video equipment—one particular microphone was causing special interest and a small crowd gathered to scrutinise it. The Chinese Ambassador, flanked…

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