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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid