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Britain's Largest Trade Delegation Visits China


British Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao toast a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, 09 Nov 2010

British Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao toast a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, 09 Nov 2010

British Prime Minister David Cameron is in China, accompanied by four cabinet ministers and more than 40 business leaders, hoping to double trade with the Asian power by 2015.

The delegation, which holds talks Tuesday and Wednesday before proceeding to South Korea for a G20 summit, is the largest Britain has ever sent to China. Mr. Cameron says he wants to lift the bilateral relationship to "a new level."

The prime minister is the first Western leader to visit Beijing since the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Mr. Cameron says he will discuss human rights with his hosts, but do it with "respect and mutual understanding."

That may not satisfy human rights activists, who are demanding that he speak out forcefully on the issue.

Prominent Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who was held under house arrest for several days this week, has called for Mr. Cameron and other Western leaders on trade trips to insist on publicly discussing human rights issues.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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