Sri Lanka's former PM says UK wants to trade with, and stand up to, China at the same time

WION Web Team
DubaiUpdated: Mar 24, 2021, 04:03 PM IST

Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka at WION Global Summit Photograph:(WION Web Team)

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'UK wants to stand up to Chinese, but also trade with Chinese,' he alleged

Ranil Wickremesinghe, Former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, took the opportunity of speaking at WION Global Summit 2021 in Dubai to highlight the functioning of Quad and India's role in it.

Reminiscing the Trump-era, Wickremesinghe said, "Trump wanted it to be an organisation to confront China - like mini NATO". However, he appreciated the efforts of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who " looked at it as a way of free and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

Quad is interestingly cooperating on non-military aspects like Covid vaccines, he noted.

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He also talked about the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken millions of lives around the world since it started in Wuhan in December 2019.

He alerted people to be safe as he believed the pandemic has not yet reached a stage where people can relax from the strict restrictions and precautions as the medical solution has not been achieved.

"We have not yet reached a stage for a medical solution to the pandemic. We are still at the pandemic stage. What happened so far will only give us an indication of the future," Wickremesinghe said during the second session of the WION Global summit titled The Post-Pandemic World Order.


"How we respond to the social and economic disruption caused by the pandemic will determine the outcome," he added.

Talking about the coronavirus and its origin, Wickremesinghe also said that while the rest of the countries are turning their back towards China, the UK is not giving a clear stance on its relationship with the Asian giant.

"UK wants to stand up to Chinese, but also trade with Chinese," he said.

Watch the live coverage of the event here: