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Return the treasures Britain looted, Chinese tell Cameron

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British Prime Minister David CameronPHOTO:AP
British Prime Minister David CameronPHOTO:AP

British Prime Minister David Cameron faced demands for the return of priceless artefacts looted from Beijing in the 19th century on Wednesday, the last day of his visit to China.

British officials say £5.6 billion-worth of deals have been signed so far on the trip, but Cameron has been derided by both Chinese state-run media and the country's sharp-tongued Internet users.

One of the most popular questions was posted by a prominent Chinese think-tank, the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, which is headed by former vice-premier Zeng Peiyan and includes as its members many top government officials and leading economists.

"When will Britain return the illegally plundered artefacts?" the organisation asked, referring to 23,000 items in the British Museum which it says were looted by the British Army, part of the Eight-Nation Alliance that put down the Boxer Rebellion at the end of the 19th century, a popular uprising against the incursion of European imperial powers in China.AFP

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