World News – AU – Former Australian Foreign Minister slams David Cameron’s « Golden Era » UK / China policy

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In 2016, then British Prime Minister David Cameron cultivated a closer relationship with the People’s Republic of China and offered China the opportunity to participate in the UK’s essential infrastructure such as power plants and telecommunications. In recent years the UK has turned its back on the cordial deal and followed the US trade war.

Former Australian Foreign Secretary Alexander Downer on Sunday described former British Prime Minister David Cameron’s approach to China as « shallow », inappropriate for a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and a lukewarm response from Britain’s friends and allies.

Downer, who served as Australia’s High Commissioner for Great Britain throughout Cameron’s Prime Minister and George Osborne, his Chancellor of the Exchequer, criticized the duo for their cordial relations with Chinese leaders.

During this time he saw the two leading Conservatives seek further Chinese investments in the UK, including involvement in major infrastructure projects. Downer was also Australia’s chief diplomat in London during the landmark visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015.

Downer accused China of becoming « increasingly aggressive » and « hostile to the interests of the Western world » under President Xi.

He said successive Conservative governments in the UK have disappointed traditional allies by viewing China as a « lucrative market » and that the pursuit of foreign investment is « superficial », « never sufficient » and « unlikely sustainable ». .

« Worse still, it indicated that the UK is no longer a global geopolitical actor, just a trading nation, » he said.

He also said that Britain’s stature as a UNSC member meant that it « must therefore have an unusually heavy duty to uphold the rules-based international system ». .

« Britain’s strength in the world is its network of friends and allies. A policy towards an emerging China that offered nothing but financial ambition would never impress the British allies, « Downer said.

Indeed. The former diplomat welcomed recent signals from Westminster that many of Anglo-Chinese integration policies are being rolled back, including phasing out Huawei devices from 5G networks, offering citizenship to British National Overseas (BNO) passport holders in Hong Kong and the Support for the Australian Government calls for an investigation into the first outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

He urged Great Britain to be « strongly » committed to the Australian, United States, India and Japan four-way security dialogue (Quad), including diplomatic and military support through « joint exercises and ship visits ». .

« The UK needs to look closely to these countries to provide diplomatic assistance and from time to time – and within the UK’s capabilities – support to the armed forces through joint exercises and ship visits, » Downer said.

He added that while the UK is imperative to accept China’s rise as a global economic power, alleged human rights abuses should be viewed as « unacceptable ». .

Downer’s comments came as part of a new report, « Defending Democracy in a New World », produced for a printing organization called The China Research Group, to urge the Boris Johnson administration to act more aggressively towards China to move.

Proposals include the formation of a self-proclaimed D10-10 democracy aimed at reducing Chinese investment in critical infrastructure, sanctioning Chinese officials for alleged human rights abuses, providing assistance and legal aid to BNO holders in Hong Kong, becoming unpaid labor not used in production, set guidelines for university and foreign government cooperation, and compulsorily report any Chinese involvement in UK joint ventures that disclose information to the Chinese government and the Chinese military.

China has largely dismissed allegations of the use of infrastructures such as the integration of Huawei into the UK 5G network. Beijing-based Global Times news agency earlier this year condemned the move to ban the tech giant as an example of Britain being « subject to coercion by the Trump administration ». .

They also predicted that the effective sanctions imposed on the company would deter other Chinese companies from investing in the UK and, in turn, Beijing could respond.

Huawei has said it is ready to sign a ban on espionage as a precursor to involvement in critical infrastructure, and Beijing claims the new Western hub against China is part of a US strategy to slow China’s economic rise rather than based on legitimate national security concerns.

The announcement to remove Huawei from the UK 5G network by 2027 followed an ultimatum from US President Donald Trump that there would be no post-Brexit trade deal if the UK did not follow Washington in its trade dispute.

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United Kingdom, China, Alexander Downer, David Cameron

World News – AU – Former Australian Foreign Minister slams David Cameron’s « golden era » in Great Britain / China

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