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Me old China

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Culture secretary Chris Smith took off for China this week accompanied by representatives of the media industry, just as news broke of an alleged plan by the Chinese government to make a £100 million offer for our very own Millennium Dome. It would be used, among other things, as a showcase for Chinese manufacturers, and would include offices, exhibition space and, believe it or not, restaurants. It is reported that the Chinese want to invest £10 billion in the uk over five years, which is a neat reversal of the usual story that we are to invest billions in the developing Chinese economy. Perhaps we are doing better than we think. Meanwhile the Dome has won a seal of approval from an unlikely source - overweight prankster and Telegraph political columnist Boris Johnson. He tells his readers that millennium year will be full of the 'sound of people eating their hats' as visitors flock to North Greenwich.

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