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Chinese Vice-Premier (State Visit)

Volume 522: debated on Wednesday 26 January 2011

15. What the outcome was of the recent visit to Scotland of the vice-premier of the People’s Republic of China; and if he will make a statement. (35138)

I had a very constructive meeting with Vice-Premier Li Keqiang, which builds on the existing relationship between our countries. As I said in response to an earlier question, China and the UK are key partners in growth for the future.

While I welcome the commercial success of the Chinese deputy premier’s visit to Scotland and recognise the importance of China having good relations with Scotland, does my right hon. Friend agree that it is most important for the Government to continue to press the Chinese Government on the issue of human rights and also to call for the prompt release of the Nobel peace laureate, Liu Xiaobo?

I can reassure my hon. Friend that in the course of the extensive visit by the vice-premier, we not only focused on our important commercial ties and developing our partnership for growth, but took the opportunity to have an ongoing dialogue about human rights and other issues. We will continue to do that—and I believe we will be successful.