China: Anand Menon discusses 'balancing act' for Boris Johnson
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Director of UK in a Changing Europe, Professor Anand Menon argued Boris Johnson would face difficulties dealing with China. During an interview with Express.co.uk, Professor Menon highlighted the importance of China as a post-Brexit trading partner. He also noted the warranted scepticism surrounding China and its involvement in the UK’s infrastructure.
He concluded Boris Johnson must strike a balance to ensure economic success and prevent Tory revolts from those less trusting of Beijing.
Prof Menon said: “Firstly, internationally there are a range of postures, even if you look in the West, on China.
“They range from a relatively aggressive posture adopted by the Joe Biden administration.
“When you look in Europe there are countries like Germany that have managed to increase their trade with China and play down the geopolitics.
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“There are also other countries in Europe desperate to attract inward investment from the Chinese.”
The political expert also explained that the differences in approach to China are clear in UK politics as well.
He said: “In Britain, there is again a variety of views.
“You have a number of Conservative backbenchers who seem intrinsically sceptical about China.
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“They put pressure on Boris Johnson when it came to the role of Huawei and building anything of the back of 5G in this country.
“They have been very critical about Chinese actions both internally and in Hong Kong.”
Professor Menon went into greater details of the issues ahead for Boris Johnson.
He continued: “You get the impression that the Prime Minister and the Chancellor are quite keen on those backbenchers to maintain very good trade relationships with China.
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“There is going to be a balancing act that needs to be performed at home.
“China is a massive economy and we would be losing out on a lot of opportunities if that relationship, economically were to weaken.
“At the same time there are genuine issues when it comes to China acts internationally and at home.
“We haven’t, as of yet, settled on a balance between those two things.
“That is something the Government is going to have to see as a priority going forward.”
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