onsdag 19. mai 2021

Chinese Academics Are Still Bullish on China-UK Relations

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan around a year and a half ago, Britain’s relations with China have been in free fall. From the U.K.’s “interference” in Hong Kong and the banning of Huawei and CGTN to its Xinjiang-related sanctions and recent declaration of a Uyghur genocide, it has repeatedly attracted the wrath of China’s so-called wolf-warrior diplomats and state-run media. Listening to them, it would seem to be only a matter of time before Britain is targeted with punitiveAustralia-style treatment by Beijing.

While the risk of being hit by Beijing’s trade stick is real, too much attention has been paid to the Hu Xijins, Zhao Lijians, and Hua Chunyings of this world and not enough to the elite discussions going on inside of China. Contrary to what one might suppose after so much talk of a deterioration in Sino-British relations, Chinese think tanks and academics have remained, on the whole, relatively optimistic about the future. There are several reasons for this as became clear in the 30 or so papers and published interviews reviewed for this article.