lørdag 25. mars 2023

UK relations with China during the presidency of Xi Jinping

Over the last few years, the largely cordial relationship between the UK and China has deteriorated sharply. In the previous two decades, regardless of the political make up of successive UK governments, the trend had been towards closer engagement and cooperation. The high-point of UK-China relations was during the 2015-17 Conservative Government, when there was talk on both sides of a “golden era”. 

However, growing controversy in the UK over the involvement of the Chinese multinational company Huawei in the UK’s 5G mobile phone network, along with mounting concern about the erosion of the “one country, two systems” status quo in Hong Kong, has dramatically changed the atmosphere between the two countries. Other important factors have been China’s human rights clamp-down against the Muslim Uighur population in the Western province of Xinjiang, as well as concerns about the threat of espionage and influence operations by China in the UK.