Birmingham City Council leader Mike Whitby is to make an official visit to China next week, following an invitation from the Chinese government to speak at an international regeneration conference.

While in the country Councillor Whitby will formalise links with China's second city Nanjing, by signing a Memorandum of Under-standing, and meet representatives of the Nanjing Automobile Corporation.

Coun Whitby (Con Harborne) has been invited to represent the UK at the Canal Cities Regeneration Forum in Yangzhou, at the personal request of the Chinese ambassador to Britain, Madam Fu Ying.

He will also make a return visit to NAC's new Nanjing production facility.