British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday made a strong case for political reform in China, telling the country that a liberalised economy needs to be supplemented by greater political freedom to guarantee long-term stability.
While Cameron has chosen not to “lecture and hector” China over the issue of human rights during his visit to the Asian giant, he did make a strong advocation for greater political opening.
Speaking to students of the Peking University here, Cameron said: “The rise in economic freedom in China in recent years has been hugely beneficial to China and to the world”.
“I hope that in time this will lead to a greater political opening... because I am convinced that the best guarantor of prosperity and stability is for economic and political progress to go in step together,” he said.
Better governance, he said, is promoted by institutions such as the parliament where opposition parties force leaders to listen to criticism, BBC reported.
He said the existence of a judiciary is able to strike down unlawful official actions and “make our government better and our country stronger” and a free media ensures that those who hold different views are able to take part in public debate.
“We believe that the better informed the British public is about the issues affecting our society... the easier it is, ultimately, for the British government to come to sensible decisions and to develop robust policies that command the confidence of our people,” he said alluding to the British system of governance.
Earlier in the day, Cameron met Chinese President Hu Jintao, who told him China looked for more opportunities for cooperation with Britain on global issues.