(TibetanReview.net, Oct13, 2015) – Contrary to a report in thesundaytimes.co.uk Aug 16, it is now being suggested that Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, is determined to continue to snub visiting Chinese presidents due to Beijing’s appalling atrocities in occupied Tibet. That report had said the Prince of Wales was going to adopt a more diplomatic approach in dealing with the Chinese leadership by welcoming President Xi Jinping and attending his events come Oct 20.
However, a dailymail.co.uk report Oct 10 and a forbes.com report Oct 11 both said Prince Charles was far from enthusiastic about being welcoming of President Xi.
On his first day in the UK, Xi will be hosted a luncheon at the Buckingham Palace which will follow a full-scale ceremonial welcome, followed by a glittering state banquet later that night. However, Prince Charles does not intend to attend the evening’s festivities because of his strong personal opposition to the country’s treatment of Tibet – although final negotiations over the issue were due to take place on Oct 9 night, said the dailymail.co.uk report.
The report said that the prince counted the Dalai Lama as a personal friend and following the Hong Kong handover ceremony in 1997 memorably described China’s communist leaders as ‘appalling old waxworks’. He had boycotted previous state visits in 1999 and 2005, although in recent years had developed several charitable initiatives in China and met the previous president when he attended the G20 summit in London in 2009.
During the upcoming visit by Xi, the prince and his wife will attend the official welcome at Horse Guards Parade and the two are also expected to attend the lunch thrown by the Queen afterwards at Buckingham Palace.
Likewise, the forbes.com report noted that Prince Charles, long one of the most prominent and robust Western supporters of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, had consistently snubbed Chinese leaders’ visits to London. It added that he seemed to be intent on doing so again later this month when President Xi will be hosted at an elaborate Buckingham Palace banquet given by Queen Elizabeth. On similar occasions in the past, it added, he had contrived to be somewhere else, a circumstance not considered an accident given how far ahead Chinese leaders’ visits are planned.
Chinese President Xi has delivered his own diplomatic punch this time. He has insisted on bringing his own drinking water to the Buckingham Palace banquet and has been finicky about what to be served, refusing a proposed starter of turbot and crab, the reports noted.