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29 Aug, 2022 08:58

UK’s Truss wants to label China a ‘threat’ — The Times

There will be no more economic partnership between London and Beijing if Liz Truss wins, sources told the pape
UK’s Truss wants to label China a ‘threat’ — The Times

Liz Truss could label China a ‘threat’ to the UK for the first time ever if she wins the race to become prime minister, her allies have reportedly told The Times.

The move would see Beijing given the same status as Moscow, which is described in Britain’s Integrated Review as an ‘acute threat’ to London, the paper said in a report on Monday.

The review, which sets out the UK’s priorities in diplomacy and defense for the next decade, was published last year.

It classified China as a ‘systemic competitor’, arguing that Britain should remain open to trade and investment from the Asian powerhouse, but remain wary of the risks to national security.

Truss, the front-runner in the race to replace Boris Johnson as PM, promised to reopen the review and change some of its provisions if she becomes the head of the government.

“There will be no more economic partnerships” between the UK and China under Truss, one of her allies told The Times.

Another unnamed member of Truss’ team said, “Liz has toughened the UK’s stance on Beijing since becoming foreign secretary [in September 2021] and would continue to take a hawkish stance as PM.” 

“She’s been active in calling out China’s economic coercion, working with G7 and other allies to mobilize investment into low and middle-income countries as a counter to China’s Belt and Road initiative,” he added.

Truss had previously branded Chinese tech giants a security risk and urged for more weapons to be sent to the self-governed island of Taiwan, which Beijing views as part of its territory.

She will face off against former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak in the final round of the race to become the Tory leader and – automatically – the new prime minister.

The nearly 200,000 members of the Conservative Party will decide on the winner, to be announced on September 5.