Johnson calls for broader UK ties with China

By Harvey Morris in London | | Updated: 2016-12-04 11:11

Britain must establish a relationship with China that goes beyond trade and commercial ties, Boris Johnson, British Foreign Secretary, said in his first major foreign policy speech on Friday.

Johnson calls for broader UK ties with China 

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson delivers a speech at Chatham House in London, Britain December 2, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

"As regards China and East Asia, our approach in that region must go beyond the quest for exports or commercial contracts," he told the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House in London.

Johnson, who backed the successful campaign for Britain’s exit from the European Union, took office in July following the referendum vote.

He said what he called "Global Britain" should not confine its outlook to its immediate European neighbors at a time when new powers were rising. "It is right that we should make a distinctive approach to policy-making as regards China and East Asia," he said.

Post-Brexit, British ministers have raised the prospect of eventual free trade deals with countries outside Europe, specifically China.

Johnson’s latest comments follow the election of Donald Trump as US president-elect after a campaign in which he castigated China for destroying US jobs and threatened to impose punitive tariffs on its exports.

The British minister noted that the UK was one of the first countries to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a China-led infrastructure initiative so far mainly financed by China. The British decision was criticized by the Obama administration.

Johnson said Britain was not just a link between Europe and the US. "We have our own distinctive identity and contribution," he said.

Underlining what Britain had to offer the rest of the world, he noted that Cambridge University alone had produced twice the Nobel Prize winners than every university in Russia and China combined.

Johnson said it would be unrealistic not to accept that the international order needed to change.

The writer is a senior media consultant for China Daily UK.


Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349