- Title: CHINA: British Foreign Secretary meets with Chinese counterpart in Beijing
- Date: 28th February 2008
- Summary: (W2) BEIJING, CHINA (FEBRUARY 28, 2008) (REUTERS) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER YANG JIECHI SHAKING HANDS WITH BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND DELEGATIONS SITTING AROUND CONFERENCE TABLE JIECHI SPEAKING MILIBAND NODDING JIECHI SPEAKING MILIBAND SPEAKING DELEGATES SITTING AROUND CONFERENCE TABLE
- Embargoed: 14th March 2008 12:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA9OBZDG9UUE1GE4J1V3HLPE2W7
- Story Text: British Foreign Secretary David Miliband meets with Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi during visit to Beijing and seeks to improve ties between their two countries.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband met with his Chinese counterpart Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, on Thursday (February 28) in Beijing.
Miliband is visiting Beijing on the last leg of his six-day China tour.
"We believe that the Olympics are an opportunity to celebrate the progress that has been achieved in China and China's commitment to work, in a peaceful way, with the whole international community and does not require any sort of disavowal of values that we hold dear," Miliband said at a joint news conference with Jiechi.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi remained adamant that no Chinese citizen would come to any harm for stating the importance of human rights.
"Do not tell me that there is international support for boycotting the Olympic Games on the ground of China's human rights, this is not true," he said.
"As 10 people from the street come face to face with security officers and ask them to say 'human rights, human rights' for 10 or even 100 times or 'human rights are more important than the Olympics,' let's see which security officer will put him in jail," he said.
China's human rights record received more negative publicity after American director Steven Spielberg announced his withdrawal from the Olympic artistic direction team on account of China's activities in Darfur.
Miliband is against a boycott of the upcoming Olympic Games, although he is reportedly under pressure from human rights lobby groups to raise the human right's issue in China.
"We have our own values about the importance of human rights, about the role of individual rights and the stability of a country and of course we will be expressing them and explaining them in private and in public," Miliband said while visiting the Great Wall of China,
"I think its important that we recognise the progress while also emphasising the areas where we have concern and that's the sort of open relationship that I think China can have with countries like Britain."
Last month, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao witnessed the signing of several agreements between the two countries including a declaration on climate change. This document commits Britain to provide at least 100 million U.S. dollars to support investment in energy efficiency, renewables, clean coal and carbon capture and storage in China.
Miliband will meet with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao later on Thursday for further talks.
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