Chinese premier due in UK

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The first by a Chinese premier since Sino-British relations were frozen for 18 months after a meeting in 2012 between David Cameron and the Dalai Lama

China’s premier will arrive in London today on a mission to change “mis-perceptions and misgivings” about his country, The Times reported.China GeneralLi Keqiang announces his campaign to show Britons the “real China”in an article published in The Times today. The visit comes at a time of heightened tensions between China and its neighbours, particularly Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines.

In an unusually self-effacing article, Mr Li says China has learnt that nothing is more valuable than peace and that, as a major power on the world stage, it will “dedicate itself to securing peace and co-operation”. Mr Li is at pains to play down his country’s might, despite the extraordinary economic transformation that it has undergone. “China is far from achieving its development goals,” he writes, adding that more than 200 million Chinese still live below the poverty line and that economic growth has been uneven.

Mr Li’s attempt to challenge misunderstandings about China will be revealed during his three-day visit — the first by a Chinese premier since Sino-British relations were frozen for 18 months after a meeting in 2012 between David Cameron and the Dalai Lama. The visit is to include an audience with the Queen.

Before his departure, a prominent editorial in one of China’s state-owned newspapers said that bilateral relations between China and Britain “have not progressed smoothly because the UK has been indifferent to China’s core interests”.

Mr Li is accompanied by Chinese business leaders and is expected to discuss up to £18 billion worth of deals, investments and memorandums of understanding. Several of these are likely to be in sensitive areas, such as energy, where China has encountered opposition elsewhere in the world.

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