Cameron's China dividend hope

David Cameron meets Victoria and Albert Museum curator Zhang Hongxing Mr Cameron visited the Masterpieces of Chinese Painting: 700-1900 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, ahead of his trip

In diplomacy, words are always carefully chosen.

Never more so than when dealing with Beijing.

The prime minister's stated aim at the start of a three-day trip to the world's emerging superpower is to build a "partnership of mutual respect and understanding".

It is the clearest possible signal of what will and, perhaps more significantly, what will not be his priorities.

Top of them all - accessing Chinese money and markets.

David Cameron's message about the UK as he lands here is clear: "No country in the Western world is more open to Chinese investment, more able to meet the demands of Chinese consumers, or more willing to make the case for economic openness."

What he does not write about in a local news magazine is human rights or political reform.

Perhaps that is because this trip was cancelled back in April after the prime minister earned the displeasure of his hosts by meeting the spiritual leader of the disputed territory of Tibet, the Dalai Lama.

His promise now to "respect" and "understand" China is the price he has had to pay to thaw what was a diplomatic deep freeze.

He is hoping for a significant economic dividend.

Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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