Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao arrived in Europe last week for a tour of selected capitals to talk principally about trade issues.
You can tell that the Chinese government is looking for results because the trip has coincided with the release of two high profile political prisoners – artist Ai Weiwei and human rights campaigner Hu Jia.
And it’s a commentary on the state of global trade relations that German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle said Wen Jiabao was “travelling to Berlin for talks on helping the euro zone out of its crisis”.
Wen Jiabao’s trip has taken in three capitals Berlin, London and perhaps most intriguingly Budapest.
Hungary has been courting inward investment from China for some time and has hopes of becoming the European hub for logistics and distribution for China.
The Budapest Business Journal described an agreement between China’s HNA Group and the Demján Group of Hungary, signed during the visit, as giving Hungary “the chance to become China’s economic, trade and tourism gateway to Europe”.
In the UK, the major talking point surrounding the Chinese premier’s visit was the revival of the MG car brand, which is now Chinese owned.
But, it’s the events further east that could have the greatest long term significance. Are we about to see the emergence of a major logistics hub that could have a radical impact on global supply chains?