Row over human rights threatens to overshadow David Cameron’s China visit

November 9th, 2010 - 6:32 pm ICT by ANI  

David Cameron Beijing, Nov 9(ANI): British Prime Minister David Cameron’s ongoing visit to China is at risk of being overshadowed by tensions over human rights after the lawyer of jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo was stopped by Chinese security officials from boarding a flight to London.

According to the Independent, the incident came hours before Cameron held talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on the first day of his visit.

Cameron is the first Western leader to visit China since dissident academic Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Prize on October 8.

When asked if he would press human rights issues with the Chinese leadership, Cameron said that he would “with respect and mutual understanding, acknowledging our different histories”.

“Of course we have a really high-level dialogue with China on all sorts of issues ranging from the economy and trade and business and of course human rights. That is how it should be. Of course we shouldn’t be lecturing and hectoring, but it is right we have a dialogue on these things,” Cameron added.

The Prime Minister also believes that the issue of human rights would not jeopardize relationship between the two countries.

“We do have a shared interest in expanding our exports and our trade with each other, but we do also have a very high-level dialogue with China on a number of issues including human rights,” Cameron said.

Xiaobo has been awarded the peace prize for ‘his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China’.

He took part in the Tiananmen Square protest in 1989 and co-authored ‘Charter 08′, a document calling for greater freedoms and an end to the Communist Party’s political dominance.

The 54-year-old was arrested hours before ‘Charter 08′ was released in December 2008, and following a brief trial was convicted for subversion and sentenced to 11 years in prison. (ANI)

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