Learning Truth from Facts: Britain’s evolving relations with the PRC

Matthew M M Henderson: Learning Truth from Facts: Britain's evolving relations with the PRC. AIES Fokus 14/2021

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26.07.2021


The spread of COVID-19 from Wuhan across the globe has affected how many countries relate to the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the objectives of the current Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership. For some states, not only democracies, the work of combatting and recovering from the pandemic now exists in parallel to another equally strategic challenge; how to frame new policies towards the PRC that protect against harms as well as making use of opportunities. This process has been particularly evident in Britain. For some years, the UK's China policy had been focused on strengthening economic ties with China, on the assumption that its leaders would, in due course, become more liberal. This view persisted alongside growing evidence to the contrary, and the CCP took full advantage of Britain's continuing openness to advance its competitive aims. But recently, openly aggressive PRC activity world-wide has confirmed the need for a more robust approach.