CHANCELLOR Philip Hammond is set to meet his Chinese counterpart for the first time since threats to deploy a UK warship in the Pacific.
The Chancellor is scheduled to travel to the US for a key meeting of world finance ministers this week where he will discuss post-Brexit trade talks.
His trip to China in February was pulled after Far East officials reacted with fury at plans by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson to send HMS Queen Elizabeth to the region.
The meeting with Chinese finance minister Liu Kun will take place in Washington DC unless Brexit talks mean Mr Hammond remains in the UK.
The talks were abandoned as China were due to lift bans on UK poultry and cosmetics which hadn’t been tested on animals worth around £10 billion over five years.
Defence sources say Mr Williamson’s speech was shown to Downing Street in advance. Ex-Chancellor George Osborne accused Defence Secretary Mr Williamson of “gunboat diplomacy”.
Mr Hammond will also attend the International Monetary Fund to insist on the UK maintaining its seat on the organisation’s top committees after Brexit.
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A source said: “Our influence internationally is undisputed, and he will make sure it stays that way by building our own relationships with powerhouses like China and the USA.
“He’s not reliant on doing this through the EU and wants to make sure our businesses continue to have access to global markets – benefiting jobs and the economy here.”
Sir David Attenborough will also attend holding a seminar with IMF boss Christine Lagarde on climate change with plans to set up a forum on the issue.
Ex-Chancellor George Osborne accused Defence Secretary Mr Williamson of ‘gunboat diplomacy’[/caption]
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