UK
20/10/2015 18:14 BST | Updated 21/10/2015 10:59 BST

Chinese President Xi Jinping Gets Series Of Sneering Jibes From Speaker John Bercow

Commons Speaker John Bercow today issued a series of shock digs at Chinese President Xi Jinping, snipping at the Premier ahead of his speech to Parliament.

Addressing MPs before inviting Jinping to speak, Bercow laid wreck to the pleasantries spouted by other senior state-figures, hailing one of the President's fiercest critics as a "champion of democracy".

Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's Nobel Prize-winning opposition leader, previously jailed for leading anti-Government protests, was touted by the Speaker as an "international symbol of the innate human right of freedom".

Observers claimed David Cameron, standing in tow with his guest, shifted uncomfortably at the remark.

In a second veiled jibe, Bercow surprised assembled parliamentarians by lecturing China on the need not just to show an economic lead, but a political one too.

"Your visit here today, Mr President, reinforces the links between the United Kingdom and China," he mused, adding: "Those links are social and personal as well as economic and political - and all the stronger for that."

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The underhanded comments come after a similar jeer by Bercow on Tuesday morning, when he compared the UK's relationships with China and India ahead of the latter's prime minister visiting Britain next month.

"Of course the Indian prime minister is the representative of a great democracy," he shot in a Commons exchange.

True to form, Bercow continued his on his sniping spree, lambasting business secretary Sajid Javid for being "discourteous and incompetent" in delivering an overly-long statement on the British steel industry.

While The Queen and Cameron are hosting President Xi during his four-day visit, a number of MPs from across the Commons have issued their own stinging critiques of the Asian Premier's record on human rights.

"Let's remember that China is a repressive dictatorship," said one, vowing: "I won't be going to listen to its leader 'address' the mother of all parliaments."