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London Mayor in Harry Potter plea to China students

Osborne assured Chinese investors that there would be no restrictions on their travel, while Johnson encouraged Harry Potter fans to visit. Picture: PA

Osborne assured Chinese investors that there would be no restrictions on their travel, while Johnson encouraged Harry Potter fans to visit. Picture: PA

BORIS Johnson has called for Chinese students to travel to the capital - to experience the world of Harry Potter.

Speaking at Peking University alongside Chancellor George Osborne, Johnson pointed to the fictional wizard as a reason to head to the UK.

Johnson said: “Who in English literature is the most famous student? Who is the most famous student in contemporary British writing, would you say? I will give you a clue - he sometimes has a wand... Harry Potter.”

He continued: “Where does the train go from which Harry Potter has to catch to go to his school? King’s Cross, absolutely right, which is where? London.

“And who according to JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter novels, was Harry Potter’s first girlfriend? Who is the first person he kisses? That’s right, Cho Chang - who is a Chinese overseas student at Hogwarts school.”

Meanwhile, Mr Osborne said he wanted to make it clear to the whole of China that there is no limit on trade with Britain or the number of Chinese people who can come to study or visit.

A real dialogue between the two nations, he said, is about learning, understanding and “embracing the future together”, as he announced a partnership between Peking University, where he spoke, and Manchester University to create a joint centre for genomic medicine.

While acknowledging that “we should not be afraid of pointing out where we disagree”, Mr Osborne said the West should not harbour “outdated” and “nervous” views and also welcomed Chinese investment in critical infrastructure such as water and airports.

Mr Osborne said: “This partnership will - I hope - give even more of you the chance to come to Britain and study there.

“We already have 130,000 Chinese students like you studying in Britain.

“I want more of you to come. And more Chinese visitors too.

“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.

“For in the end what is a true dialogue?

“Not just a meeting between governments. Not just a conference of politicians.

“A real dialogue is where people get together, and talk, and learn, and understand and embrace the future together.”

 

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