Submission: UK’s Security and Trade Relationship with China

On March 24, our IPS team, composed by Federica D’Alessandra, Henry Wu, Rhiannon Neilsen, and Kirsty Sutherland responded to a call for evidence submission by the UK Parliamentary Inquiry on the UK security and trade relations with China. In the submission, which is available here, the research team addressed the UK security and trade interests vis-à-vis China, and how the UK government can support the UK’s fundamental values and strategic interests. We recommended that the UK government incorporate an atrocity prevention lens as a basis for all strategies to promote the rule of law, strengthen good governance, and ensure an international order where open societies can flourish. Specifically, we recommended that the UK government adopt the following four approaches to China. First and foremost, Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) must design its foreign relations with China in a way that prioritises both UK values and interests. Second, the UK should adopt a ‘flexible approach’ to China, one that prioritises harmonious relations, but allows for cooperation, competition, and confrontation where necessary. Third, HMG should increase the UK’s presence in the region by way of diplomacy, capacity building, economic investment, and support for Indo-Pacific, Asia-Pacific, Commonwealth, and transatlantic alliances and partnerships. Fourth, but not last, HMG should address allegations of international crimes perpetrated in Xinjiang as an integral and unavoidable part of its overall review of UK relations with China.