The foreign minister said in his keynote address at the Lord Mayor’s Easter Banquet in London on Tuesday that the UK must engage directly with the country to promote stability.
But he also said Britain must be “resolutely realistic” about Beijing’s authoritarianism, as he warned against aggression. Taiwan.
Cleverley argued that China should not be categorized as a “threat” and that one word cannot describe its size and complexity.
He broke with tradition by devoting his speech, which foreign ministers normally use to present their views on a wide range of foreign policy issues, to talking entirely about Beijing.
He said: “This government, along with our allies, will advance British interests directly with China, while resolutely defending our national security and our values.
“We expect serious disagreements. Dealing with China, I can assure you, is not for the faint of heart. I can’t stand it.
“But we have an obligation to involve future generations, because otherwise we will not be able to meet our obligation to sustain and shape the international order.
“Avoiding that challenge is a sign of weakness, not strength.”
From climate change to pandemic prevention, economic stability to nuclear proliferation, he argued, no major global problem can be solved without China.
The UK “will always be torn between its national interest in dealing with China and its aversion to Beijing’s abuses,” the foreign secretary said.
The speech denounced China’s repression and promised to continue highlighting the suffering of the Uyghur people, branding the Xinjiang mass internment a “21st-century version of the concentration camp archipelago.”
“So our policy needs to combine two currents: engage with China when necessary and be resolutely realistic about its authoritarianism,” he said.
“And that means never wavering from one clear principle. I expect you to comply.”
Cleverley also warned that if China invaded Taiwan, it would “destroy $2.6 trillion worth of global trade.”
he said: It is therefore imperative that neither party takes unilateral action to change the status quo. “
He urged Beijing to be transparent about its military build-up as it is “carrying out the largest military build-up in peacetime history.”
Mr Cleverly argued that the UK’s ‘multipronged’ approach should consist of three sides. The second is to deepen cooperation with our Indo-Pacific allies to uphold international law, and the third is to engage directly with China.
The foreign minister is understood to want to visit China after Britain warned that China should not be “thrown down”.
His comments are likely to anger Conservative back-ventures, many of whom have taken a more aggressive stance against Beijing and expressed concerns about possible appeasement.
come after the former prime minister Liz Truss It was a concern shared by former Conservative Party leader Sir Yin Duncan-Smith, who urged ministers to ensure that Beijing never joins the Indo-Pacific trading bloc.
Mr Truss was expected to view China as a “threat” during his brief leadership period, but Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described China as a “systemic challenge”.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/james-cleverly-china-beijing-taiwan-liz-truss-b2326841.html Isolating China is a sign of weakness, says Cleverley