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Boris Johnson desperately needs a more coherent China strategy

April 8, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 19%. 2 min read.

Like many of its global counterparts, the United Kingdom is in desperate need of a China strategy.

China has become a hot issue in British politics over the past 12 months, as lawmakers and activists have become aware of how much the UK relies on a country that stands against many of the things that it claims to uphold.

In recent months, Johnson has approved sanctions against Chinese officials over human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, and condemned China for retaliatory sanctions against British lawmakers.

Johnson's government recently published a review of the country's post-Brexit foreign affairs, in which it was noted that China "will contribute more to global growth than any other country in the next decade," and economies such as the UK will "need to engage with China and remain open to Chinese trade and investment. " It also, not unreasonably, points out that if global challenges like climate change are to be adequately addressed, the international community will require Beijing's cooperation.

This story tallies with the view his allies are putting forward: that Johnson sees the need for a balanced approach to China that doesn't discourage global trade but reduces the reliance on Chinese-state backed investment and technology.

The state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corporation has a 33. 5% stake in the UK's under-construction Hinkley Point C nuclear power station and has invested in other future nuclear projects.

China National Offshore Oil Corporation also claims that it provides "more than 25% of the UK's oil production, and 10% of the country's energy needs. "

This, according to those familiar, annoyed Chinese diplomats who were eager to point out China invested more in the UK than any other European nation.

Whatever the Prime Minister's true feelings toward China, the UK is a long way from having a coherent, long-term strategy for balancing relations.

Rogers added that Johnson's government has a habit of trying to "have its cake and eat it" and thinks this is ultimately its approach to China.

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