Top Chinese official cancels UK visit over Dalai Lama meeting
Published: 25th May 2012 14:58:09
A senior Chinese leader has cancelled a proposed trip to the UK, a British Embassy spokesman in Beijing has confirmed to the BBC.
China's chief legislator Wu Bangguo - officially second ranking in China's hierarchy - is on a tour of Europe.
Sources say the cancellation came after China learned that British PM David Cameron planned to meet the Dalai Lama.
Mr Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg met the Dalai Lama in London earlier this month.
At the time, China's foreign ministry said the meeting had "seriously interfered with China's internal affairs".
Mr Wu, who is chairman of the standing committee of China's National People's Congress, has held talks with EU leaders including Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on his current tour of Europe.
BBC China Correspondent Damian Grammaticas said the cancellation of Mr Wu's visit was a clear signal of China's displeasure with the UK.
He said it would have been a "brief but symbolic" visit from the most senior Chinese to travel to the UK in recent years.
China warned of "serious consequences" at Mr Cameron's decision to meet the Dalai Lama, the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism.
But Downing Street said he was "an important religious figure" who had met previous British prime ministers.
The Dalai Lama lives in exile in India, travelling the world to seek support for more rights for Tibetan people.
He is regularly vilified by the Chinese government, which accuses him of trying to split Tibet, with its separate culture and language, from the rest of China.
According to the Guardian newspaper, a spokesman at the British embassy in Beijing said the cancellation of Mr Wu's visit was a matter of "regret".
"There was a proposed visit by Wu Bangguo which has not happened.
"We very much regret that chairman Wu was not able to travel to the UK. His visit would have been a good opportunity to continue deepening UK-China relations. We would welcome future visitors from the National People's Congress to strengthen the UK-China dialogue," he added.
At 00:59:43 in WorldEnvironmental activist Marina Silva has unexpectedly found herself centre stage in Brazil's presidential election campaign, following the death in a plane crash of Eduardo Campos, the candidate for the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB).
At 00:46:47 in HeadlinesSchools in England are braced for "volatile" GCSE results, following significant changes to the exam system.
At 00:42:12 in WorldIt was 02:30 on a hot summer night in Damascus.
At 00:29:08 in ScotlandOnline retailers and delivery companies have been urged to agree to work to guidelines designed to offer people in rural areas fair delivery charges.
At 00:18:37 in WorldFollowing the recent conflict between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza, there have been reports from a number of countries of attacks targeting Jews. But does the evidence support claims that anti-Semitism is on the rise?
At 00:15:57 in ScotlandAs the people of Scotland weigh up how to vote in the independence referendum, they are asking questions on a range of topics.
At 00:13:52 in ScotlandThe centre of Brora in Sutherland is to become an open access wi-fi zone in a pilot project supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
At 00:10:24 in ScotlandExperts have published an action plan to tackle livestock declines and low profitability in the beef industry.
At 00:09:32 in ScotlandThe Scottish parliament's Justice Committee is to look at Police Scotland's firearms policy.
At 00:07:32 in ScotlandAn independent Scotland should use the pound without the UK's permission or the use of the Bank of England, the Adam Smith Institute has said.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Top Chinese official cancels UK visit over Dalai Lama meeting [Online] (Updated 25th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1430958/Top-Chinese-official-cancels-UK-visit-over-Dalai-Lama-meeting [Accessed 21st Aug 2014]
News In Other Categories
For a list of confirmed transfers, check out the transfers page.
Grammy Award-winning reggae star Buju Banton, who is serving 10 years in jail over drugs charges, has been granted a new hearing in his latest appeal.
Environmental activist Marina Silva has unexpectedly found herself centre stage in Brazil's presidential election campaign, following the death in a plane crash of Eduardo Campos, the candidate for the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB).
Up to 30,000 people could have been eligible for drugs in the current Ebola outbreak - if they had been available, a report in Nature suggests.
Salford City Council has launched an investigation after its mayor's decision to subsidise a rugby club by up to £164,000 was not scrutinised.
More than 100 abortion pro-choice activists have held a demonstration outside Belfast City Hall.