William James and Andrew McAskill
LONDON (Reuters) – One of the most vocal critics of China in British politics became Britain’s prime minister on Tuesday, proclaiming himself The defender of the post is Liz Truss – the Western World Order at War, which replaced Boris Johnson, whose policies on Beijing have failed to strengthen many in his party fast enough.
Relations between London and Beijing have soured over the past decade as Britain has grown increasingly concerned that opening its doors to Chinese investment could pose national security risks and that China’s military and economic assertiveness could would go against its post-Brexit free trade agenda.
Truss sees China as a threat to the rules-based international order that governs trade and diplomacy after World War II, and sees her role as building a defensive bulwark.
“Countries must play by the rules, and that includes China,” she said in a high-profile speech earlier this year, adding that Beijing was “rapidly building a team capable of projecting power deep into the region.” the military’s European strategic interests”.
If China does not abide by global rules, it will hinder its rise as a superpower, and it should learn from the strong economic response of the West to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
She said China’s rise was not inevitable and the West should ensure that Taiwan, which Beijing claims is its territory, can defend itself.
The Global Times, published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, called Truss a “radical populist” and said she should abandon her “outdated imperialist mentality.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Tuesday she hoped relations with Britain would remain “on the right track”.
James Rogers, co-founder of the London-based Geostrategy Council (NYSE: ROG), said that Truss will Put more restrictions on Chinese acquisitions of British companies and will do more to bring nations together to counter China’s rise.
“She understands the ways in which short-term economic interests can have long-term strategic and political implications, and will try to balance these more effectively than in the past,” he said. He calls it the “golden age” of relationships. He said in 2015 that he wanted to be Beijing’s closest friend in the West.
But over the past seven years, with three changes of prime ministers and growing criticism of Beijing’s trade practices and squabbles over freedoms in Hong Kong and Newport, Britain has moved away from China’s role in Europe. Its biggest supporter has turned one of its fiercest critics.
The Conservative Party has become more hostile to China, even as Johnson describes himself as a “fanatical pro-China”.
The government has recently moved to limit Chinese participation in the UK nuclear power sector. Truss also signed a defense deal to provide Australia with the technology to build nuclear submarines to help counteract China’s growing power and influence.
When he was trade minister last year, Truss warned that the West could lose control of global trade unless it gets tough on Beijing and pushes for reform of the World Trade Organization.
“If we do not act, then we risk the division of global trade under the greatest tyranny,” she said.
Later, in 2021, she persuaded fellow G7 foreign ministers to include a sentence in the closing communiqué denouncing China’s economic policies — critics say Beijing’s Global investment policies could trap poorer countries in debt traps.
Truss is expected to appoint a foreign secretary aligned with her worldview – with ally James Cleverly expected to take over the job and led by the famous China Eagle Send Tom Tugendhat as security minister.
Former British diplomat Charles Parton spent 22 years analyzing China, Now an associate research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute think-tank, he said that although China could threaten to pull back the investment, that was unlikely to happen.
“China is not a charity. It doesn’t invest because it likes the color of our eyes. It does this for very specific reasons,” he said. “It will continue to invest and our job is to see if that investment continues to be in our interest.”