Nobody, I suppose, objects to a trade delegation to Beijing. One gathers the Chinese are buying fewer of our luxury exports these days, and are busily dumping surplus steel on us. But maybe Osborne and his party can have a beneficial impact on the terms of trade*.
Maybe. It's more likely the diplomats in the entourage will be taken aside by their Chinese hosts to be instructed carefully on how Xi is to be given princely treatment when he arrives for his state visit. No problems, we are good at that sort of thing, they'll all be gobsmacked by their Royal reception: we still know how to show a bit of palatial leg. That might even, quite genuinely, win us some crumbs from the table, such is Chinese enthusiasm for hi-vis global prestige.
Otherwise China is only really interested in the strategic stuff, which is where the nuclear nonsense comes in. Aside from Osborne himself and sections of the ever crumb-craving UK engineering industry (most prominently the civils, because we probably will get the earth-moving contracts), is there anyone in the country who supports the Hinkley deal?
It's all entirely predictable. Osborne, I suppose, is broadly in favour of remanining in the EU, but can't have too many illusions as to what that is really worth to us, nor as to the downsides that may come from that quarter. If he sees the 2020s as his decade he'll be wanting more to occupy him than just endless fights over euro-regulation of the City, and Britain's (or indeed England's) contributions to GreekBailout5, or RefugeeInflux7. He may also be planning to break euro-ranks at the Paris Climat thing later this year (blogpost to come on this) - another reason to keep onside with China. Hedging the bets he makes - with our money.
So far, so realpolitik. We were always a prgamatic trading nation, always going to turn our eyes eastwards, and our outstretched hands. The only hope is, we are just about bouyant enough now that the terms won't be too utterly ghastly. One day, they might be.
*But his choice of words could be better, no? "We shouldn't be running away from China - we should be running TO China!" Nul points for whoever made that up