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.
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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid