China: 'Cold war two has already begun' warns Ellwood
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But the Prime Minister said the UK must strike a balance with Beijing amid warnings from the former head of MI6, Sir Alex Younger, that China is a “generational threat”. A long-awaited review has acknowledged “China is an authoritarian state, with different values to ours”. The report adds: “China also presents the biggest state-based threat to the UK’s economic security. “The significant impact of China’s military modernisation and growing international assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond will pose an increasing risk to UK interests.”
But Mr Johnson said: “Those who call for a new Cold War on China or for us to sequester our economy entirely from China, which seems to be the new policy of the Opposition, are mistaken.
“Of course we’re protecting our critical infrastructure.
“We will take tough measures to call out China for what they’re doing in Xinjiang.
“There is a balance to be struck because, after all, we have a strong trading relationship with China worth about £81billion.
“China is the second largest economy. But we’ve also got to be tough where we see risk and that’s why this Government has brought in the National Security and Investment Bill to protect our intellectual property.”
Chairman of the Defence Committee Tobias Ellwood said: “I was hoping for a ‘Fulton, Missouri’ moment (where Sir Winston Churchill made his ‘Iron Curtain’ speech in 1946), when we finally call out China for the geostrategic threat that it is.”
Conservative Julian Lewis said the review stated a desire for deeper trade links. He said: “Doesn’t that demonstrate that the grasping naivety of the Cameron-Osborne years still lingers on?”
Sir Alex, who left the UK’s foreign intelligence service last year, told BBC Radio 4: “The language China understands is strength and we need to generate that strength through technological innovations and stewarding our alliances.”
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