News / Europe

Britain's Cameron 'Turns Page' on Dalai Lama Row with China Visit

British Prime Minister David Cameron, Nov. 28, 2013.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, Nov. 28, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— Britain has put a diplomatic rift with China over the Dalai Lama behind it and Prime Minister David Cameron has no plans to meet Tibet's spiritual leader again, a senior source in his office said ahead of a visit by the British leader to Beijing.

Instead, Cameron will use a three-day visit to China next week, his first since the Dalai Lama rift, to focus on deepening trade ties with the world's second largest economy, taking with him a delegation of around 100 business people.

"This visit is forward looking. We have turned a page on that issue," said the source when asked whether Cameron would raise the issue of Tibet during his trip. "It's about shifting UK relations up a gear and looking to the future."

Foreign trips often pose a public relations problem for the British leader as he has to balance his policy of helping Britain win what he calls the global economic "race" with speaking out about any human rights concerns. It is a circle he has sometimes found hard to square and campaigners often accuse him of putting trade before rights.

Cameron, who is likely to visit Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu, had been expected to travel to China last autumn. But he didn't go after China took offense at him holding a meeting with the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing deems a separatist. China summoned the British ambassador to protest at the time, saying the meeting had "seriously interfered with China's internal affairs", urging Britain to "correct the error".

Free Tibet, a group that campaigns against what it says are rights abuses in the autonomous Chinese region, released a poll on the eve of Cameron's visit showing that 58 percent of Britons thought he should raise the issue of Tibet with the Chinese.
"It's clear from this poll that only a handful of British people believe trade with China is more important than human rights in Tibet and that they expect Cameron to act like a statesman, not a salesman," Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren, the group's director, said in a statement.

Last month, George Osborne, Britain's finance minister, visited China with Boris Johnson, the mayor of London. Both men declined to discuss the Dalai Lama, focusing instead on what they said was the huge potential for enhanced economic ties. Osborne announced less stringent rules for Chinese banks operating in London in a push to make the British capital the main offshore hub for trading in China's currency and bonds. He also opened the door to Chinese investors taking majority stakes in future British nuclear plants.

The source said British exports to China had increased by 20percent in the first six months of this year, while inward investment by China was at its highest level in decades. The timing of Cameron's trip was good, the source said, because it came soon after China's communist leadership set new long-term policy priorities which included opening up the economy further. Xavier Rolet, the chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, is expected to travel with Cameron.

The business delegation is also expected to include Andrew Witty, the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline. The company was drawn into a bribery case in China earlier this year which resulted in police detaining four Chinese GSK executives. Peter Humphrey, a British man running a risk advisory group, was also detained and is still being held.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: david from: israel
December 06, 2013 5:20 PM
What a shameful show.......a bit of self respect and concern for human lives would have been in the long run more beneficial...Politicians is a disgusting brand of people....


by: Slawek Wojtowicz from: California
December 05, 2013 4:59 PM
So typical for confused politicians - money always comes ahead of ethics and human rights. Shame on you!


by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
December 01, 2013 3:52 PM
Good job CCP! Keep it! Wish China a prosperous future!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid