Cleverly Defends UK’s China Strategy From Tory Critics mdi-fullscreen

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has defended the government’s willingness to engage with China ahead of his visit to Beijing tomorrow. Despite Rishi’s declaration that China is an “epoch-defining challenge” – a downgrade from “a threat” – Cleverly will be the first Foreign Secretary to visit China in five years, and insisted he won’t conduct foreign policy “by catchphrase“.

“To consciously withdraw and not utilise our standing in the world, the authority and voice that we have, that would be seen as a sign of weakness, not a sign of strength… Give me one example of any other country in the world where we define our relationship with a single word or a catchphrase. We don’t do it.”

A few notable Tory backbenchers, including Iain Duncan Smith and Liz Truss, have already argued it’s too late to bring China to the negotiating table, and should designate the Communist Party as a “dangerous threat“. Cleverly is taking a softer approach, hoping that keeping them inside the tent will decrease hostility. The US is already restricting investment into Chinese technology – something the Foreign Office seemingly isn’t keen on. Even if China may have tracked the PM’s government car this year…

mdi-tag-outline China
mdi-account-multiple-outline Iain Duncan Smith James Cleverly Liz Truss
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