I know he has to improve the UK’s balance of trade and net overseas foreign direct investment if he is to clear the deficit but does he have to do that by quiet so blatantly begging China to invest here?
Sigh. The balance of payments means that payments must balance. So, a trade deficit means a capital account surplus. A capital account deficit means a trade surplus. Thus you cannot be trying to improve the balance of trade (ie, make it less negative or more positive in the usual construction) by asking foreigners to invest here.