Britain says China calls off human rights talks at last minute
Published on Apr 15, 2014 2:52 AM
LONDON (REUTERS) - China has called off talks with Britain on Beijing's human rights record, the British government said on Monday, four days after Britain published a list of concerns.
Chinese and British officials had been due to hold a round of the bilateral Human Rights Dialogue in London on Wednesday after they agreed to restart the regular meetings during a trip to China in December.
Prime Minister David Cameron visit was aimed at spurring closer trade and business links between Britain and the world's second biggest economy and at drawing a line under a dispute involving Tibet's spiritual leader which had led to a diplomatic freeze.
But Britain's Foreign Office said Beijing had pulled out of the first round of the talks, the resumption of which Cameron had hailed at the time as a significant achievement. "We are disappointed that the Chinese government last week unilaterally postponed the Dialogue, which was due to take place on 16 April," a Foreign Office spokeswoman said in a statement. "It is not for us to say why it was postponed. We are now in discussion to agree new dates," she said.
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