James Forsyth James Forsyth

Britain’s future economic challenge

Wen Jibao’s performance at today’s press conference was typically diplomatic. He declined to say that the UK was going too far in Libya and was emollient on the question of human rights. But his honeyed words can’t obscure the true nature of the Chinese regime.

But Wen Jibao’s presence here was also a reminder that the economic competition Britain is going to face in the future is going to come increasingly from the east. If Britain is going to thrive in this world, then it is going to have to produce a huge amount of intellectual property.

It is in this context, that Michael Gove’s educational reforms should be seen. It is noticeable that Gove’s announcement today of bursaries for students with firsts to train as teachers places the greatest emphasis on maths, physics and chemistry — the building blocks of innovation. 

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