Contemporary British Prime Minister Liz Truss is bringing a tougher UK stance on China
September 8, 2022: -On Tuesday, one of British politics’ best analysts of China is becoming prime minister as Liz Truss, a self-styled defender of the post-war western world order, returned Boris Johnson. His policy towards Beijing failed to harden fast enough for many in his party.
Relations between London and Beijing have worsened in the last decade as Britain has grown nervous that opening the door to Chinese investment could pose national security risks. China’s military and economic assertiveness may be acting against its post-Brexit free trade agenda.
Truss views China as a threat to the rules-based international order that has governed post-World War Two trade and diplomacy, and she sees it as her part to build a bulwark against that.
“Countries must play by the rules, and that includes China,” she said in a high-profile speech earlier this year, which counted that Beijing was “rapidly building a military qualified of casting power deep into areas of European strategic interest.”
Truss warned that if China failed to play by global rules, it would cut short its rise as a superpower, and it should learn from the West’s robust economic response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
She said that China’s bank was not unavoidable, and the West should ensure that Taiwan, which Beijing says is its territory, can defend itself.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen hailed Truss, with her office noting that the new prime priest, during China’s current military drills near the island, “stepped forward and called on the global democratic camp to continue ensuring that Taiwan can defend itself.”
The Global Times, issued by China’s Communist Party’s official newspaper, the People’s Daily, has anointed Truss a “radical populist” and said she should drop the “ancient imperial mentality.”
On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said that she hopes ties with Britain will remain “on the right track.”
James Rogers, the co-founder of the London-based Council on Geostrategy think tank, said Truss would impose more restrictions on China buying up British companies and agreeably bind countries together to counter China’s bank.
“She understands how short-term economic help may have a long-term strategic and political influence and will try to offset those more effectively than in the past,” he said.
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