Britain to host UK-China summit after human rights tensions

LONDON Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:41am EDT

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will host Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in London next week for an annual summit, Prime Minister David Cameron's office said on Tuesday, two months after a human rights row between the two nations derailed talks.

Li will meet with Cameron at his London residence on June 17, a reciprocal visit following the British leader's trip to China last year, Cameron's spokesman said.

"The prime minister will meet with Premier Li and their discussion will cover a wide range of bilateral issues, including trade, investment and commercial opportunities and the energy and cultural side," Cameron's spokesman said.

China's foreign ministry said Li would also meet Britain's Queen Elizabeth and would head to Greece on his June 16-21 trip to Europe.

Cameron met Premier Li in December when the largest-ever British mission of its kind went to China to patch up relations between the world's sixth- and second-largest economies.

A rift over Britain's stance towards Tibet and the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, prompted London to cancel a planned trip by Cameron in 2012 after Beijing said its leaders would not be free to meet him.

Differences surfaced again in April this year when China was angered by a British Foreign Office document criticizing China's human rights record. In response, Beijing called off a meeting to discuss human rights in London at short notice.

Cameron's spokesman said that all issues, including human rights, were up for discussion at next week's meeting.

(Reporting by William James and Andrew Osborn; Editing by Larry King and Ron Popeski)