British Prime Minister David Cameron gave Chinese Premier Li Keqiang a copy of the script for the first-ever episode of Downton Abbey as the visiting dignitary kicked off his official visit to the U.K. this week.
The gesture is particularly savvy on Cameron’s part. British TV dramas are wildly popular among China’s internationally educated elites. A study last year found that British dramas, such as Downton and Sherlock, were the most discussed foreign shows among white collar online viewers in China. The higher up the class scale goes, the more popular British shows become in the country.
The trend mirrored what Chinese television critics have taken to calling the “disdain chain” in which fans of British TV look down on fans of U.S. shows and aficionados of American TV snub Korean soap fans, who turn up their noses at people who simply like local Chinese TV.
The script Cameron gave Li was signed by Downton creator Julian Fellowes.
Following the meeting with Cameron at Downing Street, Li was received by the Queen at Windsor Castle.