Sources told the paper that if Liz Truss wins there will no economic partnership between London-Beijing.
Liz Truss could label China a ‘threat’ to the UK for the first time ever if she wins the race to become prime minister, her allies told The Times.
The move would see Beijing given the same status as Moscow, which is described in Britain’s Integrated Review as an ‘acute threat’ to London, the paper said in a report on Monday.
The review, which sets out the UK’s priorities in diplomacy and defense for the next decade, was published last year.
It classified China as a ‘systemic competitor’, arguing that Britain should remain open to trade and investment from the Asian powerhouse, but remain wary of the risks to national security.
Truss is the frontrunner to succeed Boris Johnson in the PM race. She promised to review the provisions and amend some of them if she became the head of government.
“There will be no more economic partnerships”One of Truss’s allies said that the UK was now China under Truss.
Another unnamed member of Truss’ team said, “Liz has toughened the UK’s stance on Beijing since becoming foreign secretary [in September 2021] and would continue to take a hawkish stance as PM.”
“She’s been active in calling out China’s economic coercion, working with G7 and other allies to mobilize investment into low and middle-income countries as a counter to China’s Belt and Road initiative,”He concluded.
Truss has previously called Chinese tech companies a security threat and asked for more weapons being sent to Taiwan. Taiwan is considered part of China’s territory.
She will face off against former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak in the final round of the race to become the Tory leader and – automatically – the new prime minister.
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Nearly 200,000 Conservative Party members will vote on the winner. The announcement of the winner is set for September 5.
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