Mandelson wows China with gift of a memory stick

In days of yore, ministers plenipotentiary – the blokes charged with getting a good trade deal for our side – went armed with expensive gifts or products (such as opium) calculated to stun the locals into greedy stupefaction.

This morning the Department of Business revealed that its boss, Lord Peter Mandelson, went to the UK-China business summit armed with little more than a list of over 1,000 British companies “ready to sell quality goods and services to China now” on a memory stick. This he handed over at a lunch with the words, “We have met the Chinese aspirations.”

Downtime trusts that Minister Chen was suitably stupefied.

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