• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 5:22pm

British Prime Minister David Cameron backs China to 'realise its dream'

As British prime minister agrees wide-ranging business deals in Beijing, he says two countries can 'help each other succeed in the global race'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 December, 2013, 11:25pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 December, 2013, 12:52pm

Premier Li Keqiang and British Prime Minister David Cameron oversaw the signing of business deals yesterday ranging from high-speed rail projects to nuclear power, while leaving contentious human rights issues on the sidelines.

Cameron's second visit to Beijing - accompanied by Britain's largest ever business delegation to China, with 130 members - marked the full reconciliation of Sino-British ties after Cameron's controversial meeting with the Dalai Lama last year.

In a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, President Xi Jinping told Cameron he hoped the two countries would "transcend differences in their conditions, institutions and values" and deepen mutual understanding.

Xinhua quoted Xi as saying: "[Both sides] should take into account each other's major concerns and core interests, enhance mutual trust and chart the future of relations."

Xi also said he hoped London would be more open to economic co-operation.

Video: UK's Cameron focuses on business during China visit

Cameron was quoted as saying that Britain held its relationship with China in high regard and would increase dialogue on the basis of mutual respect.

After the meeting, Li said Britain and China had become "indispensible partners for each other's development". He compared Sino-British relations to a high-speed train that can "move forward along the track and constantly increase its speed".

Cameron said: "I see China's rise as an opportunity, not just for the people of this country, but for Britain and the world. Britain wants China to realise its dream and I believe we can help each other succeed in the global race."

Xinhua reported that both sides agreed to promote each other's companies to seek breakthroughs in high-speed rail and nuclear power co-operation.

Britain said it would streamline processes for Chinese citizens to enter Britain for business and tourism purposes.

Both sides also signed agreements on investment, finance, legal affairs, culture and health care co-operation.

Cameron told Li he would call on the European Union to negotiate a free trade deal with China.

He said he believed the EU deal could be worth "tens of billions" of pounds a year.

Steve Tsang, director of the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham, noted that Cameron had so far avoided contentious issues - including human rights and political reforms - and that the visit had been "purely about economic interests".

He added: "Cameron said a lot of things to create a good atmosphere … people can argue whether such business deals are good for the UK, but what the UK can actually do for China in Europe is limited."

Reuters reported that a senior source in Cameron's office said before the trip that Britain had turned the page on a rift with China over Tibet, and that Cameron had no plans to meet the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader.


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This article is now closed to comments

so funny... it is like me backing Li Ka Shing to realize his dream.
GB is a good country, was once a great power but today, its influence is not even Brasil's. i admire GB but "helping" china? where? what? how? c'mon man!
Finally, a smart man who is willing to "work together" with China for the economic prosperity of all, and not like the USA who just keeps sticking their nose into China's political affairs.........Maybe it's Obama should learn from Cameron on how to be friends with China and drop the "Big Brother" attitude cause the Americans are certainly no longer the Big Brother of the world..............
If Cameron is serious about improving UK relations with China, he should cut the cost of a visa for Chinese nationals visiting UK to ten Pounds and also instruct the Foreign Office to cut down on spying activities and ensure that visa applications processed within 24 hours. Visa offices should also be open 9 to 5.
The British Government also needs to move away from its mythical "special relationship" with USA and stop supporting US aggression overseas.
We must study what determines UK’s decision
to transcend or to accentuate the objective differences
which Cameron observes between the two countries
Why doesn’t Britain give equal efforts to transcend
its differences in conditions, institutions and values
and deepen mutual understanding with India or Kenya
Are the differences between UK and China
accountable for one’s decline and the other’s ascendance?
The two countries differ most in national behavior
Britain is opportunistic
China is principled
tried really hard to understand what you are trying to say here ... please at least make your point clear. what the article is saying that is GB wanted to see China realise its dream, during which process GB can benefit too. HK is just too full of people like you who lose sight of what is truly beneficial and lose sight of the importance of reason.
Cameron is a fool if he thinks Chinese intentions are for anything other than a relationship totally skewed to China's interests.
Chamberlain and Ribbentropp all over again.
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OldPeak Toad
What the British 'sinners for a thousand years' should not overlook in all their shoe-shining in BJ: The Chinese are only after technology, expertise, and financial investments. China is for the Chinese, Allowing a Westerner to make money in China is "unpatriotic".
Yes a UK politician saying they will "back China's dream" contains lots of political making-nice and puffery, that said there are certainly many things UK companies could help China with if China was more open to innovation. A very big if.


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