'Don't be fooled by sweet words of the British'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 September, 2011, 12:00am


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Vice-Premier Wang Qishan told a group of Chinese economic and financial scholars not to be fooled by 'the sweet words' of the British during his visit to Britain last week, one of the scholars said.

During the visit, British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne had told Wang that more mainland Chinese could now afford to send their children to the private school where Osborne's son studies - which charges about GBP20,000 (HK$246,957) a year in tuition fees - indicating the Chinese are becoming more affluent, Yao Shujie , a professor of contemporary Chinese studies at the University of Nottingham, wrote on his blog on Tuesday.

'The British are not stingy in saying nice words. But we should have a baseline understanding of what they think deep in their hearts,' Yao quoted Wang as saying. 'Otherwise, we will be self-satisfied and be easily bewildered by the sweet words of the British.' Wang also said it would be a long time before the mainland's development becomes comparable to Western countries'. 'The world was rich in resources and prices were cheap when Britain and America were rising,' Wang reportedly said. 'Things are different when China is rising today, and we are facing higher pressure than what Britain and the United States had faced in the past.'

Last Friday Wang had a lunch meeting at Rhodes House at Oxford University with 10 British-based Chinese economic and financial scholars. Yao said a wide range of topics was discussed. However, the focus of the meeting was on how foreigners perceive China's economic growth and its role in the global economy.

During Wang's visit to Britain, he attended the fourth China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue with Osborne. He also met British Prime Minister David Cameron and visited London's Olympic Stadium. Wang then flew to Trinidad, where he announced on Monday that Beijing would lend US$1 billion to Caribbean countries for finance, infrastructure and tourism development.

Wang's visit came amid the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, with European politicians calling on Beijing to shoulder more responsibilities in global affairs. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in Beijing last month that China had an important role to play in resolving the crisis. Last year Osborne said that Britain must look to China for its help in fostering an economic recovery.

Professor Jia Qingguo, associate dean of Peking University's school of international studies, said: 'Some people overseas believe that China is growing and should share more responsibilities.

'But China needs to consider its internal situation, and may not accept all requests for help.'