Chinese Lib Dems take part in round table discussion at Foreign Commonwealth Office with the Foreign Secretary on 8 September 2009

September 9, 2009 12:00 PM

At the discussion attended by David Miliband and members of the Chinese community on Sino-British relations, Merlene Toh Emerson (杜淑真), PPC for Hammersmith welcomed the Government's policy to foster China's emergence as a responsible global player and to get the best for the UK from China's growth in the 21st century.

"I believe that British Chinese have a unique contribution towards this debate: in us the West does meet the East."

"Whilst we can understand the Government's interest in encouraging inward investment into UK, we would also like to see greater investment in existing Chinese and other settled communities in the UK" said Merlene.

She questioned the extent to which Britain is able to influence China bilaterally and stressed the need for Britain to work within the European Union and the UN to engage China in the area of sustainable development and in strengthening international institutions.

Merlene also the criticised the Conservatives for their Commonwealth-centric approach to international development aid and their recent announcement that they would cut any future aid to China and Vietnam. The Liberal Democrats would prefer Britain take the lead in promoting liberal, fair and democratic values and in ensuring aid reaches those who need it most, and not based on arbitrary historical links.