big elephant in the room is China.
British government yesterday did a ‘U’ turn on Huawei and
cancelled the agreement for Huawei to take part in the building
of 5G telecom masts.
US pressure has been key.
Admittedly there has been a revised security assessment which brought
about commercial constraints.
The Huawei decision will bring an expensive backlash, as we have seen
experienced by Australia or Canada. We can ill afford this post
Covid and post Brexit.
HOW DO WE MOVE
Huawei decision is the end of the line of a whole range of issues.
What is the smart way to stand up to China’s bullying? Their
aggressions are well documented. But the fact is China is
not going away. A major superpower. It is there.
We should drop the megaphone diplomacy and work quietly with our
allies to manage Beijing’s growing assertiveness and indeed aggressive
Our weakness is that we have not worked out how to respond.
From a European and indeed, I guess, the Middle East point of view, we
are caught between the US and China playing hard ball. A
supreme wrestling match of super powers with very different
cultures and political systems.
I ask the question: Are we at war with China? Answer is no.
I would like to see firm and courteous diplomatic language
in public, and in private, a quiet, steely , relentless
national and international resolve to show the Chinese
leadership what they risk by straying from the norms of civilised
On our part, yelling at them may only harden popular opinion in China
against an apparently hateful outside world.
Trade by all means, but move with care. We should make a much greater
common cause with other nations such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore,
Australia and so on, have a voice of our own, independent
of the US.
Above all, We need realistic, clear – eyed Constructive
engagement. We need each other.
The other panellists were
Ambassador Ryan Crocker,
Mohamed Dayri, former Libyan Foreign Minister
Prof. Irina Izvyagelskaya,Primakov Institute, Moscow
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