OPINIONS UK trying to sweet-talk China while still sucking up to US: China Daily editorial

OPINIONS

UK trying to sweet-talk China while still sucking up to US: China Daily editorial

China Daily

20:34, October 20, 2021

A worker adjusts British and China national flags in Beijing, on Sept 21, 2015. (Photo: Agencies)

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the media on Monday, "I am no Sinophobe — very far from it". But there are reasons to question how bona fide that claim is.

Not only because he made the remark one day before the opening of the Global Investment Summit in London and a fortnight ahead of the United Nations climate conference, COP 26, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, in which China will play an important role in ensuring the two events are fruitful, but also because of his administration's dogged following in the footsteps of the United States' strategy to contain China.

In saying that the UK government will not "pitchfork away every overture from China", as the country is "a gigantic part of our economic life and will be for a long time — for our lifetimes", the UK leader has exposed what an awkward position he has put the UK in through blindly following the US' fool's errand to divide the world into two camps.

The UK's imports from China rose 40 percent in the year through June, consolidating China's position as the UK's third-largest trade partner.

Despite the clean records of Chinese companies in their operation and investment in the UK, the country has shut its door to Huawei and has suspended nuclear energy cooperation with Chinese companies, citing spurious security concerns.

The UK has amended its foreign investment law and introduced a blacklist system with the purpose of screening Chinese investors from so-called critical national infrastructure.

Irrespective of the basic norms of international relations, Johnson and members of his government have also made irresponsible comments on and unfounded charges against the Chinese government's pro-peace and pro-stability policies and practices in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

And in stark contrast with Johnson's openness to and welcoming of Chinese investment, the UK has also formed a security triangle partnership with the US and Australia targeting China, which could destabilize Southeast Asia.

By sending the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth strike group to the South China Sea and the frigate HMS Richmond to sail through the Taiwan Straits, the UK government has shown its willingness to leave no stones unturned in playing follow the leader with the US.

The hypocrisy of the Johnson administration's China policy is staggering. And betting the UK's future on the success of the US' divide-and-rule strategy is a fool's gamble.

The UK's China policy should be based on the fundamental interests of the country itself, rather than the calculations of the China-bashers in Washington.

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