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China is a ‘systemic challenge’ for the UK

29 / 11 / 2022

Rishi Sunak, in his first foreign policy speech since taking over as British Prime Minister, declared that the golden era with China is over and that from now on, Great Britain will move with the logic of “robust pragmatism”, viewing China as a systemic challenge.

“Of course, we cannot simply ignore China’s importance in world affairs, in issues such as global economic stability or climate change,” added Sunak.

It should be noted that the revision of the foreign policy towards China, especially in the context of the latter’s role in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, was also present in the program of former British Prime Minister Liz Truss. This proves once again that ethnicity, which was the most discussed issue in Sunak’s case, or any other circumstance related to the leader’s personality, does not determine anything when there are strong state traditions and a clear understanding of interests within which every statesman is obliged to act. In other words, state administration should not be associated with individuals, but with state institutions formed over years, if not centuries.

Sunak also called the goal of political “reform” in China through more trade with the West, which the collective West has been pursuing for decades, a “naive idea.” This in turn undermines once again the thesis of neoliberalism that trade relations and interdependence bring stability and peace. It does not always work, moreover, in case of conflict with state interests, it cannot assume a primary role for established states. This is an important lesson for those who have illusions about achieving peace through trade in Armenia, especially when the other side has no intention of peacefully coexisting with you.


Click to view the article in Armenian.

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