Here's the background of Ma Kai, the only senior leader (central committee level) China has so far put up to meet with Osborne on his visit. Osborne's pro-forma equivalent, Premier Li Keqiang, has urgent business in Vietnam. I'm not sure what Boss Xi's doing, but whatever it is he's not doing it with George. The rest of the standing committee are also conspicuous by their absence from places where George will be present. From the China Vitae profile, we can see that Ma is a Vice Premier - and so formally qualified to deputise for Li - but also that he's a career functionary in the economic reform bureaucracy with no direct experience of territorial governance, that he's about due to retire and that one of his current hats is as minister for small business, which is kind of embarrassing. Ma's recent itinerary has included meetings with the EU trade commissioner, the Deputy Prime Minister of Laos and the President of Malawi. And now George.
But it's not just Ma Kai...
the Chancellor is expected to have a number of bilateral meetings with senior members of the Chinese government
...it's also 'anyone who happens to be free.' He's cutting a swathe, is George.
Anyway, here's a rather wonderful picture of Boss Xi enjoying traditional peasant hospitality on a recent trip to Ireland.