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British PM to avoid Dalai Lama for China

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Mon, Oct 14, 2013 15:50 hrs

London, Oct 14 (IANS) Chastened by Beijing's earlier expression of anger over London's warmth for spiritual leader Dalai Lama, British Prime Minister David Cameron is all set to tread carefully this time by avoiding a meeting with the Tibetan leader ahead of his China visit.

A five-member ministerial delegation led by British Chancellor George Osborne is visiting China to pave the way for an official visit by Cameron, who is keen to strengthen his country's bilateral relations with Beijing.

Osborne has revealed that the British prime minister has no plans to meet the Dalai Lama.

Osborne made it clear that Britain was determined to move on from a row with Beijing over contacts with Tibet's spiritual leader, The Guardian reported.

Cameron was forced to abandon a visit to China earlier this year after Beijing downgraded its relations with Britain after he met the Dalai Lama in May last year.

The chancellor told BBC Radio 4's Today programme from Beijing: "There is a bit of a British attitude which treats China as a sort of sweat shop on the Pearl river. One of the things I am trying to do this week in China is to change British attitudes to China.

"This is a country that is right at the forefront of medicine and hi-tech and computing and hi-tech engineering."

Osborne said the prime minister was unlikely to be meeting the Dalai Lama for some time.

"We have said the prime minister is not planning to meet the Dalai Lama," Osborne told Today. "But of course he did meet the Dalai Lama, as previous British prime ministers have."

"We understand we have different political systems and we raise the issues we have about that but we have an incredibly important economic relationship and I want to make sure this week we take the next big step in Britain and China's relations with each other so that we can create jobs and investment in each other's countries."




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