You know what it’s like. You fly half way around the world on a mission to raise the profile of your city’s links with China and who do you bump in to? Your nearest rival for that promotion you were after.
Typical, eh? On a trade mission to China, the Mayor of London bumped into none other than his old mucker George Osborne. Apparently the two trips have been planned for ages (Bozza’s was in the diary first) although it’s the Mayor, not the Chancellor, that’s been getting most of the attention.
The Guardian reports that ‘Johnson and Osborne joined forces in Beijing on the first full day of a week-long visit to China that is designed to pave the way for a visit by the prime minister, who had to abandon a trip to China earlier this year. China unofficially downgraded its relations with Britain after Cameron met the Dalai Lama in 2012.’
So far it’s been a game of one-upmanship between the pair. For example, after Osborne told university students that his 10-year-old daughter was studying Mandarin, Bozza added: “George mentions his daughter, I have a 16-year-old and she is not only learning Mandarin, George, she’s coming here next week to pursue her studies.”
Bozza then dug deep into his Harry Potter knowledge for a further anecdote proffered the teen wizard as proof of “cultural interpenetration” between China and the UK. “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,” he said, to laughs and scattered applause. “Ladies and gents I rest my case.”
When asked who was in charge, the Mayor replied: “We are representing our country. It’s a nest of singing birds is how I would describe it. It’s total harmony, there’s probably some Chinese expression that completely perfectly culminates it.
“”The yin and the yang,” chipped in the Chancellor.
“I thought the chancellor’s speech was logical,” said Zhang Shuo, a first-year international relations student. “The London mayor used humour, a popular touch and personal examples to interact with us.”
“I liked the London mayor better,” added Liu Honglei, another female student. “He has a better sense of humour.”
Game, set and match Johnson, we think.