• Fri
  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 6:03pm

Tiny old Britain? It's only good for study and travel, says China's state media

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 December, 2013, 5:03pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 December, 2013, 12:26pm

As British Prime Minister David Cameron launched a charm offensive at Shanghai Jiao Tong University yesterday, a state-owned newspaper derided the United Kingdom as merely a destination for Chinese students and tourists.

During the 40-minute meeting with students from the alma mater of former president Jiang Zemin , a relaxed Cameron took questions from the floor. The approach paid off.

"He exhibited humour, confidence and clarity of thought," said Zhang Yang, a student at Jiao Tong. "We enjoyed the open atmosphere and his style of talk."

When Cameron revealed that his old tutor at Oxford University, Vernon Bogdanor, criticised his work via e-mails even 25 years after he had left the university, the 300-odd students burst into laughter.

Vote now on our poll: Britain is no longer a 'big' power and is only good for tourists and students. Do you agree with China state media's assessment?

Cameron is leading a 100-strong business delegation to China to encourage investment and he has posted pictures of his meeting with top businessmen, including Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, on his Facebook page.

A Global Times commentary described the UK as just "an old European country" that is only a destination for Chinese people to study and travel. It said the UK was "not a big power in the eyes of the Chinese".

It was headlined: "China won't fall for Cameron's 'sincerity'." Beijing was outraged when Cameron met the Dalai Lama last year. "Beijing needs to speed up the pace of turning its strength into diplomatic resources and make London pay the price for when it intrudes into the interests of China," the article said.

Cameron said he had told President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang that Britain was an open market for China's high-speed-railway builders.

"We think we have a lot to learn from China in this regard," he said. "My government has taken a very clear view that the countries that will succeed in the future are the countries with the most modern infrastructure."

In an apparent effort to strike a chord with his young audience, Cameron used a Chinese proverb - "one generation plants good trees and the next generation can enjoy the shade of them".

Asked to comment on the central government, Cameron said the leadership had to give priority to the "many" low-income people to enable them to benefit from economic growth.

Meanwhile, Beijing denied it had sought to target the Bloomberg news organisation by barring its reporter Robert Hutton from a joint event with Cameron and Li on Monday.

Cameron's office said that before the event, it had "raised concerns at senior levels and made clear it would be completely inappropriate to exclude journalists from the press statements".

Bloomberg's website has been blocked on the mainland since it reported last year on the wealth of Xi's family.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said: "We try our best to satisfy the needs of other journalists, because the site is limited there, and the arrangements we made in accordance with such requirements were no different from before."

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse



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This article is now closed to comments

History is only contingent when one doesn't understand the reason behind Lady Macbeth's compulsive handwashing habit.
ya but the most key reason under all is the British do not want to work for cheap and they do not want to just take on any job and they do not want to work so hard thats the main reason , and British producers do not want to loose dignity selling cheap and the British government to do not want to give up taxing high and they do not want to give up racism and protectionism these are all the base reason before any .
Are you insane? Blaming the jews again are you Adolf?
ya but they are right for what they say, even British genius leaves Britain for the New World thats why even the British do not have their own British doctors its Indian , so whats left in Britain the Queen and the Indians ?
Britain is not a big power this is confirmed by many because they do not know that the western royals are actually one family they also do not know that Rothschild has at least 500 trillion dollars they do not know that the Queen has the power to feed and clothe every single person on earth , most people see Britain from the recent written history point of view without knowing what makes up Britain , most people do not know that the royal family can be the king or queen of america and canada and australlia any time they want whenever neccessary, most people do not know that even Hitler's secret UFO makings needed British fundings
Of course some Chinese won’t find it charming
that the British better the Chinese in the Sichuan act of face changing
The British are fast learners with less “cultural” burden than some others
As China grow stronger the British would prove effective followers
See, Cameron is one step ahead of Biden
and most others, slow learners
Though myself an Anglophile
I ain’t the type exemplified below that follows the follower
Chinese students, not just those at Jiao Tong
should learn from Britain, the former world leader
and study hard the foundation of Pax Britannica
Good to see this new with details description
Also it is fruitful for readers with both article and photos, good good good
Thankfully there are great people like Germans in the world who use machine guns on others with machine guns, and not pointy sticks and rocks. The great empire consisted of land taken from pygmy savages who couldn't do much more than chuck rocks at the cowardly imperialists....
The Krauts are the scum of the earth.Their ancestors murdered millions of Jews.This great nation of cowards did not spare the elderly,women and children.



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