David Cameron will protest over the treatment of Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel peace laureate who is in jail in China, during his visit to the country next week. Although the trip is primarily intended to boost trade between Britain and China, the Prime Minister is promising not to shy away from human rights issues.
Mr Liu is serving 11 years after being convicted of subversion. Four weeks ago, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his human rights activism, a decision that incensed the Chinese government, which regards him as a criminal.
The Chinese embassy in Oslo has sent official letters urging diplomats from other countries not to attend next month's ceremony marking his honour. It is also asking foreign governments not to issue statements in support of Mr Liu.
Sir George Young, the Leader of the Commons, told MPs: "The Prime Minister will raise, when he is in the China, the serious issue about the human rights record of China. That issue will not go by default."
Chinese officials confirmed they were preparing for Mr Cameron to raise the issue.
In his first visit to China, on 9 and 10 November, since the election, Mr Cameron will lead a party of four cabinet ministers and 50 business leaders who hope to win contracts in the rapidly growing economic super-power.
From China, he will head to South Korea to attend the G20 summit.Reuse content