Did you Xi him? Chinese Premier makes surprise visit to UCL

Jinping hadn’t made it to Loop the night before

Yesterday afternoon saw Chinese Premier Xi Jinping swagger into UCL for an hour-long visit.

He spoke at the opening of a Mandarin conference and said British students had learned “the values of strict discipline” from the Chinese.

The UK Confucius Institute is organised by the UCL Institute of Education, and runs programmes with Chinese universities to roll out Mandarin across British schools and campuses.

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Xi was here for an hour

Jinping also said “Chinese children do not play enough, they should play more”, and British students have equally valuable lessons to offer.

A British schoolchild later read a Chinese Mandarin poem to Jinping, who said he read the poem “better than I ever could”.

UCL’s Michael Arthur said the conference, and Mandarin learning in general, was a “crucial part of British engagement in an interconnected world”.



Some students were less than impressed though, with lefties organising a protest at The Mandarin Oriental in Hyde Park where Xi was staying.

Organisers of the event said on their Facebook event: “Xi Jinping presides over a government that calls itself a ‘people’s republic’ but denies its population democracy and political and religious freedoms, and continues a brutal occupation of Tibet and repression of ethnic minorities such as the Uighurs.”