London: Prince Harry has reportedly been asked by the UK government to visit China next year in a bid to improve tense British relations with the country.
The Prince was asked by the Foreign Office to visit China following his four-month deployment to Afghanistan, which began last week.
According to the Telegraph, a visit by a senior member of the royal family would be a major diplomatic boost for Britain’s relationship with China.
Relations between the two nations have tarnished following the Government and the royal family’s ongoing dialogue with the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader and critic of the Chinese regime.
Tensions between Beijing and London further escalated following the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood by the wife of the prominent Chinese politician Bo Xilai.
According to the paper, courtiers will be hoping that the trip will improve Prince Harry’s profile following the embarrassment over the publication of naked pictures of him on holiday in Las Vegas last month.
A trip to the world’s most populous country would be only his second solo overseas tour.
Earlier in 2012, he visited the Caribbean and Brazil on a 10-day Diamond Jubilee tour to mark the Queen’s 60-year reign and to champion British business interests.
First Published: Monday, September 10, 2012, 12:03