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Rishi Sunak: The golden era of UK-Chinese ties is over.

Rishi Sunak: The golden era of UK-Chinese ties is over.

The so-called “golden period” of relations with China is finished, according to Rishi Sunak, who promised to “evolve” the UK’s policy toward the nation.

The prime minister referred to the deeper economic connections of the previous decade as “naive” in his first statement on foreign policy.

He asserted that in order to compete effectively, the UK must now replace wishful thinking with “strong pragmatism.”

However, he cautioned against “Cold War rhetoric,” saying that China’s importance for the world could not be disregarded.

Since becoming the Tory leader and UK prime minister last month, Mr. Sunak has come under pressure from conservative backbenchers to take a more aggressive position against China.

The address was given at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London and comes following protests over China’s stringent Covid shutdown restrictions over the weekend.

A BBC reporter was detained by police on Sunday while covering a protest in Shanghai. Police have also made a number of arrests. During his detention, the cops assaulted and kicked him, and he was detained for a while before being let go.

Business executives and foreign policy specialists in the audience were informed by Mr. Sunak that China had “decided to crack down harder, including by assaulting a BBC journalist,” in response to the protests.

The “golden period” of UK-China ties and the “naive belief” that more commerce with the West would result in Chinese political reform, he continued, were “gone.”

Under former Prime Minister David Cameron, there was a “golden era” of deeper commercial connections, but since then, ties between London and Beijing have gotten worse.

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Mr. Sunak emphasized, though, that “we cannot simply disregard China’s role in world affairs – to global economic stability or concerns like climate change.”

In order to “handle this increasing rivalry, including with diplomacy and engagement,” he continued, the UK would cooperate with allies such as the US, Canada, Australia, and Japan.

At the G20 conference earlier this month in Indonesia, Mr. Sunak and Chinese President Xi Jinping were scheduled to meet for the first time. However, the meeting was postponed as a result of a missile explosion in Poland.

As part of a review of the UK’s foreign policy, Mr. Sunak’s predecessor Liz Truss reportedly intended to reclassify China as a “danger” to the country.

Mr. Sunak highlighted the review’s description of China as a “systemic challenge” in his remarks. In the coming year, he promised, there would be more information about the review

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