• Wed
  • Sep 17, 2014
  • Updated: 7:21pm
NewsChina
DIPLOMACY

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

wailunscmp
Typical Han Chinese arrogance and ignorance: belittling other races and nations. Loooks like Chinese people never learn from their past mistakes.
It seems incredulous that such a "little Britain" can wield so much power and influence in the global stage, much to the envy and changrin of China. It's not the size of your population or your GDP that matters; it's soft power that influences the world
req
Size matters not...
pslhk
Somehow the Japanese comment accepts no reply
But the fact is clear enough
All should see the following comment homing in its target
-
Scholarly pretension busted
the japanese revealed as
phenotype of impecunious anencephaly
now indulges in ventilating stupid rubbish
-
In the latest historical evidence
japanese kicked the British out from the Malay peninsula
then China kicked Japanese back to the loin clouth like islands
Who kick who is so clear that in 1997
China didn’t have to kick the British
but allowed them a boat ride out of HK
mercedes2233
Where was that article that said China should try to make friends? Like I said, China needn't do anything. Wannabe friends will arrive on its doorstep, and try to charm and wheedle. Even Richard Nixon arrived like a shot after the Ping-pong diplomacy.
anson
It's interesting the amount of press coverage that is given to such an insignificant country. Small, yes its always been small. Are we sure that this is not something to do with Britain attempting to exercise her independence from the CCP and meeting who they like?
lexishk
I see the charm offensive is one-way only, as usual.
Brit_in_China
I am British, 48, left the UK in 2005 and set up a factory in China - now have USD 12m sales, 132 people, no borrowings, and growing at 32%. The reason I did this was simple: Britain is completely wrecked economically. It was people like Cameron that wrecked it over the last one hundred years. He and his class have absolutely no concept of how to run a country. The Chinese Government however is creating an economic behemoth. Here are the key differences between Britain and China as I see it: 1. PRC owns or controls the banks - therefore they control the size of the money supply - therefore they can ensure smooth straight-line economic growth. 2. PRC respects the wealth creating properties of industry and manufacturing. Cameron really struggles to even get the word 'manufacturing' out of his mouth without shuddering. To be an Engineer in the UK is to feel like a third class citizen. 3. PRC has a long-term practical development plan. They are in control. The UK has no plan at all. Nothing. It is tumbleweed rolling past the 'last chance' saloon in the British Parliament. I am proud to be British, I am proud of my country and its heritage; but I am seething with anger at the incompetence, rank stupidity, and political corruption of the British ruling establishment. I would love to go back and change this situation, but I am too busy growing my business in China.
sino.capitals@gmail.com
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 .
Dai Muff
Neither do Chinese. They are just scared of starving. That's not the same as "wanting to work cheap".
sino.capitals@gmail.com
i hope you will not expand that much in China , if the British jews do not like us to expand in Britain why should you be allowed to expand in China ? why is that fair?

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