Earlier today I had a little taste of what it must be like to be a senior politician when I was driven through the streets of Shanghai with a police escort.

I’m not sure why our convoy of vehicles were awarded such importance. After all, we were only driving from our hotel to the massive Shanghai motor show. But it was fun while it lasted. 

As we carved through the huge (and elegantly tree-lined) boulevard streets of downtown Shanghai, there was ample time to marvel at the sheer size and newness of this place. Like its smaller sister city of Hong Kong, Shanghai places an almost total emphasis on modernity and business. It’s all about trade and growth in China, a country which is still, in theory, Communist. 

In the UK, we agonise over infrastructure, taking decades to build something like the Crossrail scheme across central London.

God alone knows how long it will take to build the High Speed Rail link from the capital to the Midlands. But you can bet that while we dither in Britain, China will have built thousands of miles of new motorway and a few more high speed rail lines.