Charles chatter won’t affect Sino-UK ties

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-10-21 0:28:01

The UK is going all out to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping for his state visit with full pageantry. Under these circumstances, some Western media that prefer to sing a different tone tried to find something discordant with the visit. They eyed Prince Charles.

Western media like The New York Times noticed that the prince would be absent from the official banquet held by Queen Elizabeth II in Xi's honor. It claimed that this "quiet protest" by Prince Charles symbolizes "an uneasy strain" in Britain, Germany and much of the EU. These media would find their perception untenable if they compared the Prince's skipping of the banquet to his grand meeting with Xi.

Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, met with Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Tuesday morning and went to Horse Guards Parade. Prince Charles and Camilla also joined the Queen's luncheon at Buckingham Palace. The banquet was hosted by the Queen and attended by senior officials like Prime Minster David Cameron, with the presence of Prince William and his wife the Duchess of Cambridge. In the royal family only Prince Charles was missing. Does this have a strong political connotation?

Most people won't read too much into it. With the splendid opening of the "golden era" between China and the UK, people can hardly notice the absence of a certain individual on such grand occasions. Neither the hosts nor guests would feel any unease.

The Western media would fail to direct public attention toward Prince Charles' skipping the banquet because the influence of the significant China-UK "golden era" cannot be jeopardized.

The more attention that gossips about Prince Charles attract, the bigger the loss the Prince has to bear. It is a decision by Britain as a whole to develop all-round cooperation with China and the royal family is firm in supporting it. Prince William and Kate Middleton extended the Queen's invitation to Xi during their trip to China in March while Prince Charles also attended several activities to welcome Xi on Tuesday. There is no room for Prince Charles to confirm his "quiet protest."

By saying this is the Prince's intention, The New York Times would in fact cripple Prince Charles' influence in the UK. They actually stress his discordance with mainstream British politics. There is often speculation that the Queen may appoint Prince William as the next heir to the throne. In this case, the latest gossip does no good for Prince Charles.

Most elites in the UK are aware that Xi's visit bears an unusual and historical significance and means more to Britain. We believe that Prince Charles is better aware of this and therefore declined to meet with the Dalai Lama.

The Sino-UK relationship will expect the harvest of the "golden era." It's funny that some Western media claim that they have portrayed the general picture by merely reporting tittle-tattle.

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Posted in: Editorial, Xi visits UK 2015

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