Cameron Urges China To Take Greater Role In World Affairs

David Cameron has ended his two-day visit to China by urging the country's leaders to recognise that its economic power requires it to shoulder greater responsiblities on human rights, climate change and Africa.

He said: ""There is barely a global issue that needs resolution which does not beg the questions: what does China think, and how can China contribute to a solution?""

It also emerged that Cameron directly raised the cases of recent individual human right abuses in a private conversation with the Chinese premier at a banquet last night.

Downing Street declined to go into the details of the conversations, but sources said the case of Nobel prizewinner Liu Xiaobo was raised with Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier. There is no means of knowing how strenuously or lengthily he raised the issues, and Cameron refused to call for the writer's release in public.

His language on human rights was arguably less strong than that deployed yesterday by Barack Obama in Indonesia, but British diplomats argue a head-on confrontation will reduce the UK's influence, and it is better to open up a strategic dialogue with the Chinese on human rights.

Officials seem to believe that economic prosperity and the spread of the internet, including blogs, will do more to liberalise the country than public lectures by British leaders. Cameron is also trying to strike a delicate balance between the trade mission aspect of his trip and the need to set out British support for the universal values of human rights."