A Westminster Hall debate on ‘UK policy towards China’ has been scheduled for Tuesday 7 May 2019 from 4.30pm to 6.00pm. The debate has been initiated by Leo Docherty MP.Jump to full report >>
As the UK anticipates a post-Brexit future, the nature and terms of its future relationship with a ‘rising China’ is one of the most important foreign policy issues that it must address. This relationship will unavoidably be particularly complex and multi-faceted.
Critics have argued that, since the coalition government of 2010-15, the official UK impulse has often been to accentuate the positive and downplay the negative in pursuit of an elusive ‘golden era’.
An April 2019 Foreign Affairs Committee report doubted whether, given the consolidation of the power of Xi Jinping in China, it would be appropriate today for the UK to commit itself to seeking such a close relationship.
A February 2019 RUSI report expressed concern that a post-Brexit UK could more be vulnerable to Chinese interference in its internal affairs.
Others worry that the UK will struggle to boost ties with China without generating disagreements with the country which has traditionally been its paramount ally, the US.
Defenders of the current UK government say that it is more willing to acknowledge that there will sometimes be a need for caution in how it conducts the relationship with China.
Here are just a few examples of just how complex and multi-faceted the relationship is between the UK and China today:
Commons Debate packs CDP-2019-0106
Authors: Timothy Robinson; Julie Gill; Jon Lunn