British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday declared that the United Kingdom’s “golden era” of diplomatic ties with China were over in his first major speech on foreign policy, describing China’s growing authoritarianism as a “systemic challenge to our values and interests.”
- ASSOCIATED PRESS – Sunak stopped short of calling China a threat, disappointing China hawks in his Conservative Party who had until recently expected him to class China as a “threat” to U.K. security as part of an update of the government’s foreign and defense policies.
- AL-JAZEERA – In his first major foreign policy speech, Sunak said the so-called “golden era” of UK relations with China was “over, along with the naive idea that trade would automatically lead to social and political reform”.
- BBC – He said the UK now needed to replace wishful thinking with “robust pragmatism” towards competitors.
- SKY NEWS – Mr Sunak acknowledged the current protests against COVID lockdowns in China – a rare sight in a country where demonstrations are not a common sight, and have not been since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.