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 Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

What a difference a day makes

In just 24 hours, Sir Malcolm Rifkind went from angry defiance to a grim-faced acceptance that he would have to quit his job as an MP and chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

Read full article

More on This Story

More from Nick

Features & Analysis

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage


  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world


  • Music scoreFinal score Watch

    Goodbye to NYC's last classical sheet music shop


  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya'Emailgate'

    Hillary gets a taste of scrutiny that lies ahead


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show

Programmes

  • A cyborg cockroachClick Watch

    The cyborg cockroach – why has a computer been attached to this insect’s nervous system?

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.