During the demise of the British Steel Industry, thanks mainly to China selling the stuff cheaper than any other country and the Government not being able to subsidise production, along flies in President Xi Jinping and his wife on a four-day state visit.
They were greeted no less by the Queen with a full-scale ceremonial welcome involving more than 1,000 soldiers, 230 horses, seven military bands and 10 military units, not to mention 103 gun salutes fired from Green Park and 62 from the Tower of London. This was followed by a lavish state banquet at Buck House with 170 guests.
In her speech the Queen told the President: “Your visit marks a milestone in this unprecedented year of co-operation and friendship between the UK and China.”
By the time President Xi flew back to China, he had secured a deal with the Government letting part of the British nuclear industry go to China, a super rich dictatorship running a country which was once thought of as a potential enemy.
What a state of affairs.