Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne has confirmed he is relaxing the rules over trading between the UK and China.
On an official state visit to Beijing this week, Mr Osborne stated that a new £8 billion scheme is going to be launched so that London-based investors can apply for a licence to invest directly in Chinese shares and bonds.
Previously, investors had to go via Hong Kong to do this, with Mr Osborne explaining that the move will allow China's huge banks to conduct business in London.
"A great nation like China should have a great global currency," he said, adding: "Today we agreed the next big step in making London – already the global centre for finance – a major global centre for trading and now investing the Chinese currency, too."
China's importance to the world economy was recently highlighted by the news the Asian nation has overtaken the US to become the planet's biggest importer of oil.
Although the US uses 18.6 million barrels of oil per day at the moment, compared to China's 10.9 million, this situation could soon be reversed.
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