Boris vs Beijing: Time is running out to resist China's relentless imperialism | Comment

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Published on 11 Jun 2021, 14:45
Matthew Henderson, a former British diplomat, argues Boris Johnson should take a leading role in resisting Chinese expansion worldwide.

Henderson urges the West to develop a strategic partnership to counterbalance the Chinese Communist Party’s Belt and Road Initiative and to take on Beijing over its human rights abuses...

"As the G7 meeting convenes in Cornwall, now’s the time for Boris Johnson to play a leading role in international resistance against the Chinese Communist Party.

While our allies in Europe hedge their bets between Washington and Beijing, Brexit has enabled Britain to look beyond the continent and begin the process of resisting Chinese aggression and expansion worldwide.

President Biden has said the world has reached an ‘inflection point’ in a struggle between democracy and autocracy- in which ‘democracy must and will prevail’. He is certainly right, and it is, for this reason, Boris Johnson must seize the opportunity to challenge Beijing.

Earlier this year, the British government published its Integrated Review, a wish-list of policy objectives, which says that Britain will work with allies and partners to protect the open international order from China, which the Review somewhat cautiously calls a “systemic competitor”.

This sort of language creates a balancing act: on the one side attempting to keep the CCP in check, and on the other, to maintain or even strengthen bilateral economic ties.

Right now, China could indeed be called a ‘systemic competitor’- but this approach risks seriously downplaying strategic threats posed by the CCP.

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