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Britain`s Cameron in China, opposes Tibet`s independence

Last Updated: Monday, December 2, 2013 - 23:37

Beijing: On a fence-mending visit to China after his controversial meeting with the Dalai Lama, British Premier David Cameron on Monday opposed Tibet`s independence even as the two countries agreed on cooperation in civil nuclear power and high speed rail.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged to enhance political and economic ties with Britain as Cameron voiced opposition to "Tibet`s independence", state-run Xinhua news agency reported about talks between the two leaders.

Cameron, whose China tour was delayed since his meeting with the Dalai Lama in May 2012, said Britain respects China`s sovereignty and territorial integrity, recognises Tibet as part of China and does not support "Tibet independence", the report said.

"We two countries must insist on mutual respect and equal treatment, understand and take care of each other`s major concerns, properly handle sensitive issues," Li told Cameron during the talks.

The two leaders oversaw the signing of 10 agreements, including deals on space exploration and patent protection.

Speaking in the Great Hall of the People, Li said, "The two sides have agreed to push for breakthroughs and progress in the cooperation between our enterprises on nuclear power and high speed rail. The Chinese side is willing to not only participate in but also purchase equities and stocks in UK power projects."

The British premier also met President Xi Jinping tonight.

Cameron arrived in Beijing on a three-day visit, pledging to put his "full political weight" behind a proposed EU-China trade agreement.

"Some in Europe and elsewhere see the world changing and want to shut China off behind a bamboo curtain of trade barriers. Britain wants to tear those barriers down," Cameron told reporters after arriving here with a high profile delegation of 100 business leaders and six cabinet ministers.

"No country in Europe is more open to Chinese investment than the United Kingdom," said Cameron, whose meeting with the the Dalai Lama in 2012 was condemned by Beijing and led to a diplomatic standoff as China minimised all contacts with the UK.

Putting all that behind, Cameron vowed to push for a free-trade agreement between China and the EU. "I will champion an EU-China trade deal with as much determination as I am championing an EU-US trade deal," he said.

First Published: Monday, December 2, 2013 - 23:37

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