Wednesday 06 Oct 2021 | 17:26 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 06 Oct 2021 | 17:26 | SYDNEY

David Cameron in Asia


Sam Roggeveen


12 April 2012 14:50

The UK Prime Minister is on a tour of Japan and Southeast Asia, and it's interesting to read this visit in light of Nick Bryant's comments on The Interpreter that Britain is increasingly looking to Asia as a source of economic opportunities. Judging by the Number 10 website, trade is certainly the focus of Cameron's current trip.

But the Guardian has a preview of Cameron's keynote speech in Jakarta, which he will deliver tomorrow, saying that it moves the visit 'from a trade mission to focus on politics'. You might think that Cameron is therefore preparing to make some grand-strategic pronouncements about the rise of Asia, but you would be wrong. In fact, his theme sounds positively Blair-ite: 

Democracy and Islam can flourish together, David Cameron will declare on Thursday as he uses a landmark speech in Indonesia to tell the Muslim world that it can reject a "dead-end choice" between extremism and dictatorship. In one of his most significant speeches on Islam, the prime minister will say that the world can defeat extremists, who are a "dangerous foe" on a par with supporters of slavery.

Read on for more about the four groups Cameron identifies as presenting the greatest threats to global democracy.

It's also worth noting that Cameron will tomorrow also visit Burma, becoming the first Western leader to do so since the recent reforms.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user The Prime Minister's Office.