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Boris Johnson may face backlash on China from his MPs - but America's on his side

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16.03.2021

Setting out the Government’s new foreign policy strategy in the House of Commons yesterday, Boris Johnson declared that those calling for a new Cold War with China are mistaken. He is right, but not in the way the Prime Minister thinks he is.

China is a more complex – and in many ways – more formidable foe than the Soviet Union was. The old description of the USSR as “Upper Volta with nukes” had a certain truth to it. But China is an authoritarian regime that has grown at a prodigious rate in the past few decades and is expected to overtake the US as the world’s largest economy this decade. Instead of the export of ill-fated automobiles liked Ladas and Trabants, China is leading the way on tech with Huawei and TikTok. Tackling China will take more cunning than countering the Soviet Union did.

Now that the Government has unveiled its integrated review – detailing how it plans to assert its place in the world in the coming years – the debate on how to counter China is more alive than ever. Despite pressure from his most hawkish MPs to cut off ties with the Communist regime, the Prime Minister has said the UK will have to work with China. The Government has chosen to adopt a nuanced stance going forward.

China to overtake US and become world’s largest economy by 2028

Where Russia is described as remaining the most acute direct........

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