Page last updated at 20:22 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 21:22 UK

Prince and China leader in talks

Prince of Wales and Chinese President  Hu Jintao
A Clarence House spokesman described it as a good meeting

The Prince of Wales has held talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao which included discussion of the sensitive issue of Tibet.

Clarence House said talks on "a full range of issues of mutual concern" also covered reconstruction after last year's earthquake and climate change.

Prince Charles's support for exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, has complicated his relations with China.

This was his first meeting with a Chinese leader in the UK.

President Hu was in London for the G20 summit of world leaders earlier.

The private chat scheduled to last 30 minutes overran by 20 minutes at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge, west London.

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt says the prince has made a shift towards positive engagement with China.

'Co-operation'

Speaking through an interpreter, President Hu praised the Royal Family's interest in relations between the countries.

"Your Royal Highness also places high importance on China-UK relations and you actively promoted practical co-operation between our two countries. We commend your efforts and thank you for that," he said.

In 1999, the prince's aides denied he was "snubbing" the Chinese by not going to a banquet at their London embassy.

Prince Charles was said in the past to have been "impressed by the Dalai Lama's efforts to seek a peaceful resolution" in Tibet.

In 2004, he invited him to a St James's Palace reception.

China claims Tibet as part of its territory, disputed by many Tibetans, and considers the Dalai Lama a separatist threat.

In a private diary entry, which was made public by a newspaper in 2005, the prince referred to some Chinese officials as "appalling old waxworks".

He was writing after witnessing the handover of Hong Kong to the Chinese in 1997.

The High Court later ruled the Mail on Sunday had breached the Prince of Wales' confidentiality and copyright by the publishing the diary.



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