Scottish independence: China premier backs UK

THE premier of China Li Keqiang has called for the UK to stay “united” during a press conference with Prime Minister David Cameron in London.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Picture: PA

THE Prime Minister of China has waded into the independence debate and called for the UK to stay together.

On an official visit to the Uk, Li Keqiang has joined President Obama, Hilary Clinton and Pope Francis in backing the No camp warning that Scottish independence will hit world stability.

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During a joint press conference with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, the Chinese premier was asked what impact a Scottish breakaway decision would

have on the attractiveness of the UK as a foreign partner.

Li signalled he thought the UK would be better off together.

He said: “We welcome a strong, prosperous and united United Kingdom.

“I believe the United Kingdom can stay at the forefront in leading the world’s growth and development and also continue to play an important and even bigger role for regional stability

and global peace.”

In the past a Chinese had threatened to support Scottish independence after Mr Cameron met with the Dalai Lama in 2011.

On the same visit Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond refused to meet the spiritual leader of Tibet in what was seen as attempting to avoid offending the Chinese.

However, Yes Scotland dismissed Mr Li’s intervention referring disputes over its geography in Tibet and Taiwan.

A spokesman for Yes Scotland said: “Unlike people in China, people here will have a free and democratic vote on September 18 when they will decide on the future of their country. We believe that decision will be Yes.”