Britain a 'petty' and 'declining' empire, argues Chinese paper State-controlled tabloid says Britain "hypes" human rights issues because it is unable to accept Chinese superiority and suggests readers take pity on â€œold declining empireâ€ Britain is an â€œeccentricâ€ and â€œpettyâ€ empire in decline that criticises China in order to mask its own deficiencies, a Chinese newspaper claimed on Wednesday as Li Keqiang, the countryâ€™s prime minister, began day two of his UK tour. One day after the Chinese premier was welcomed to Britain by David Cameron and the Queen, the Global Times, a prominent state-run tabloid, slammed the country hosting Mr Li as a fading power that refused to accept its dwindling global influence. â€œBritainâ€™s national strength cannot be placed in the same rank as China now, a truth difficult to accept for some Britons who want to stress their nobility,â€ argued the tabloid, which is affiliated to the Peopleâ€™s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party. The British media â€œhabituallyâ€ hyped charges of human rights abuses against China in order to hide this new reality, the editorial added. â€œBritish public opinion remains prejudiced against China and highly expects to embrace an opportunity to prove that it is superior compared with the emerging nation. Nevertheless, engaging in economic cooperation with Beijing is in its practical interests.â€ â€œChinese society is more and more relaxed in dealing with Sino-UK ties, while the British could not be pettier,â€ the Global Times added, suggesting its readers take pity on this â€œold declining empireâ€. The furious editorial was the newspapersâ€™ second attack on Britain in six months. David Cameron found himself on the receiving end of a similar diatribe last December during a three-day mission to China intended to drum up business. â€œWhat Cameron does is out of his own political interest and the UKâ€™s national interest. His visit this time can hardly be the end of the conflict between China and the UK,â€ the Global Times argued in an editorial entitled: â€œChina wonâ€™t fall for Cameronâ€™s â€™sincerityâ€™â€. Todayâ€™s Britain was little more than â€œan old European country apt for travel and study,â€ it added. Most coverage of Mr Liâ€™s trip was less aggressive than the Global Timesâ€™ invective-filled editorial. However, the core message from Chinaâ€™s heavily controlled media has been clear: in Sino-British relations it is now the Chinese that wear the trousers. On Wednesday, Chinese pundits marvelled at how their â€œsuper salesmanâ€ prime minister had scored an audience with the Queen, despite not being Chinaâ€™s head of state. â€œUsually only heads of state can meet with the British Queen and it is another exceptional case for the Chinese premier, which showed how the UK values its relationship with China,â€ Wang Yiwei, from Renmin University, was quoted as saying by state media. â€œIt is more valuable considering the Queenâ€™s age,â€ he added. Britain had â€œpulled out all its ceremonial stops for Li,â€ the Shanghai Daily said. Claims that China had threatened to scrap Mr Liâ€™s visit unless he was given an audience with the Queen reflected the â€œtrickeryâ€ of the â€œonce-powerful British empireâ€, the Global Times argued. On the eve of the prime ministerâ€™s arrival, Chinaâ€™s ambassador to the UK set the tone for the negative coverage, suggesting David Cameron had badly damaged ties between Beijing and London through his 2012 meeting with the Dalai Lama. Germany and France had overtaken Britain in terms of their friendships with China, said Liu Xiaoming, the ambassador. Li Keqiang took a more diplomatic line at a press conference on Tuesday, although his comments were still far from a resounding endorsement of his hosts. Asked if he agreed that China now enjoyed better relations with Germany and France than Britain, Mr Li said: â€œThereâ€™s an old saying in China that when you are at one mountain you shall sing their local song.â€ Britain a 'petty' and 'declining' empire, argues Chinese paper - Telegraph ***************************************************************** The diatribe is in retaliation to the British attitude that does not give in to awe of the Chinese global Juggernaut roll. Much of what the tabloid, Global Times has stated is true, but it quite uncharacteristic of the Chinese to go hammer and tongs against a nation or its PM when the Chinese PM himself is visiting that country.