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UK & World

China can be a ‘partner for good’, tactfully says before key speech

James Cleverley called China He could be a ‘partner in goodness’ as he prepares to give an important speech on the future of UK foreign policy.

The Foreign Secretary was pressed about the exact nature of the UK’s relationship with China. Saudi Arabia Ahead of Monday’s speech, Britain will insist it must work with its increasingly influential countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

While the speech itself isn’t expected to focus heavily on China, Mr Cleverley was pressed on Sunday about Britain’s position in relations with Asia’s powerhouses.

just two weeks ago Rishi Snack Promising to set a new direction for Britain’s foreign policy, he told a London audience that the “golden age” of relations with China was over, but that his administration was “strong enough to stand up to global competitors.” He said he would follow a “pragmatic” approach.

Mr. Sunak, who branded China “the biggest long-term threat to Britain” during the summer’s Tory leadership race, has greatly softened his harsh rhetoric about China.

Cleverley didn’t repeat the words, but appeared on the BBC’s Laura Kuensberg show on Sunday to say that China is “incredibly challenging” on the world stage, while at the same time criticizing areas such as climate change. said it was potentially a “critical partner for good.”

He referred to the treatment of Uyghurs and said China’s actions were “unacceptable” on some issues, but cautioned:

“China is threatening many of the cornerstones that we feel are important, and we will work with old and new friends to make sure we protect what needs to be protected, but of course the opportunity to influence. China will do better and work with China to improve as much as possible.”

Cleverley will say in his speech:

“The UK proposal will be tailored to their needs and the UK’s strengths across trade, investment, development, defense, technology and climate change.

“This will be backed by a trusted source of infrastructure investment. So we are determined to make investments of faith in a nation that will shape the future of the world.”

At Sky News, Cleverley was pressed about whether this meant looking beyond the human rights records of some countries.

Asked specifically about Britain’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, Mr Cleverley said he had spoken with national leaders in the Middle East about the application of the death penalty.

he said:

“It is very important to maintain a continuous bilateral relationship with Saudi Arabia.

“Some of that includes trade, but it also includes security and counter-terrorism work. There is a very deep difference when it comes to matters.

“We are also trying to find areas where we can make an impact. In fact, I have been an advocate for the reform program being pursued by Saudi Arabia.”

That’s what Sunak came up with when talking to his counterpart in New Zealand. Jacinda Ardern on sunday.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said the two leaders “discussed common challenges in the Indo-Pacific and considered the importance of economic stability and resilience to growing strategic competition.”

The leaders also “shared condemnation of Iran’s continued support for Russia’s illegal aggression into Ukraine, including through the provision of drones.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/james-cleverly-china-rishi-sunak-saudi-arabia-jacinda-ardern-b2243065.html China can be a ‘partner for good’, tactfully says before key speech

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