Prime minister David Cameron has revealed that he raised the issue of human rights on his visit to China and that the Chinese Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao was definitely in the same room at the time.
It is not clear how strongly Mr Cameron put forward his case, but most critics are pretty certain he didn’t go far enough.
“I don’t think that putting your hand to your mouth and coughing the words ‘human rights’ while one of your aides distracts the Chinese prime minister by pointing out of the window and saying ‘look a UFO’, can really be classed as raising the issue.” Said a spokesperson for Amnesty International.
“We weren’t expecting much. Maybe something like ‘man, those political dissidents, what are you gonna do? You can’t live with them, and you really should be treating them more fairly you know’. Nothing too aggressive.”
Cameron China Trip
The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who says he was recently put under house arrest by the Chinese authorities, was also critical of Mr Cameron’s commitment to questioning China’s human rights record.
“Doing business with a country with such a poor record on human rights and not questioning that record is as bad as ignoring it completely, some might he’s actually validating or supporting it.”
“To put it in layman’s terms, it’s a bit like the political equivalent of setting up an adventure playground with Ian Huntley.”
Mr Cameron has also given a speech to Chinese students in Beijing, in which he yawned the word ‘democracy’ and said the words ‘freedom of speech’ really really quickly.