Beijing poses great challenges for an open society but the UK wants to work with China: Boris Johnson

WION Web Team
LONDON Published: Mar 16, 2021, 07:53 PM(IST)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson took part in a Christmas quiz last year, while sitting between two colleagues in No 10 (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

“There is no question China will pose a great challenge for an open society such as ours,” Johnson said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday acknowledged that China will pose a “great challenge” for the UK as he set out the findings of a major review of foreign policy.

In a Commons statement, Johnson said that the UK has led the international community in expressing our deep concern over China’s mass detention of the Uighur people and its actions in Hong Kong.

“There is no question China will pose a great challenge for an open society such as ours,” Johnson said.

“But we will also work with China where that is consistent with our values and interests, including building a stronger and positive economic relationship and in addressing climate change.”

“The review describes how we will bolster our alliances, strengthen our capabilities, find new ways of reaching solutions and re-learn the art of competing against states with opposing values.”
 
Johnson said Brexit marked a “new chapter in our history” and the UK was now “open to the world, free to tread our own path” as the Integrated Review Of Security, Defence, Development And Foreign Policy was published.

Russia remains “the most acute threat to our security," the UK government said, but the language on China was more muted. While acknowledging the risks and human rights challenges posed by a more assertive China, Johnson stressed he wanted a balanced approach and said the UK will continue pursuing a positive trade and investment relationship with Beijing.

Britain’s biggest foreign and defence policy review since the 1990 end of the Cold War sets out how Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to be at the forefront of a reinvigorated, rules-based international order based on cooperation and free trade.
 
Calling the Indo-Pacific “increasingly the geopolitical centre of the world”, the government highlighted a planned British aircraft carrier deployment to the region and said a previously postponed visit to India would go ahead in April.

(With inputs from agencies)

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