Cameron woos Xi and Li with signed England soccer shirt, Murray racquet

British PM gives Xi an autographed England soccer shirt and a tennis racquet signed by Andy Murray to Li

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 December, 2013, 4:37am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 December, 2013, 4:37am

British Prime Minister David Cameron wooed Chinese leaders and their wives with presents ranging from an England soccer shirt to books by contemporary British authors, state media reported.

Cameron was yesterday visiting the southwestern city of Chengdu , the last leg of his three-day visit to China, on which he has been accompanied by more than 100 officials and business leaders, making it the biggest overseas mission in the history of ties between the nations.

Apparently knowing that President Xi Jinping is an avid soccer fan, Cameron earlier gave him an autographed England team shirt, according to Xinhua.

To his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang , a tennis fan, a racquet signed by Scottish player Andy Murray, currently world No. 4 and who in July became the first British man to win the men's singles at the Wimbledon Championships in 77 years.

For Peng Liyuan , Xi's wife and China's first lady, who always makes headlines with her choice of fashion, Cameron presented a pair of gloves made by the upmarket British fashion house Mulberry. To Li's wife, Cheng Hong , an English professor, Cameron chose books by winners of the Man Booker Prize, including novels by Hilary Mantel and Julian Barnes.

Along with the tennis racquet, Cameron also chose books as gifts for Li, who holds a doctoral degree in economics, including biographies of Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill, the Victorian politician Benjamin Disraeli and the anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce.

Beyond the gifts and pleasantries, Cameron, who angered Chinese leaders by meeting the Dalai Lama last year, was intent on drawing investment into Britain and clearing the way for a free-trade agreement between China and the European Union. "If you are thinking of investing in Britain, come find us, you will get a warm welcome," Cameron said.

Some state media appeared unmoved by the British politician's charm offensive.

A Global Times editorial earlier this week said Britain was just "an old European country fit for tourism and overseas study".



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