The UK is China's second largest European trading partner. British exports to China last year, at ￡3.72 billion were up 17% on the year 2000. China's exports to Britain are at an all-time high. Many Chinese enterprises now regard Britain's flexible and open economy has an ideal launching pad into the wider European market. All this is a far cry from 1972, when the UK and the PRC first exchanged Ambassadors. Then, there were virtually no Chinese students in Britain. Today, there are over 20,000--one of the largest overseas communities at our universities.