Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has held bilateral meetings with senior Chinese government figures during his visit to Beijing.
He met Chinese Vice President Han Zheng for the second time, and Chinese Foreign Minister and Director of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission, Wang Yi, for the third time.
The Foreign Secretary set out the UK’s approach to China, in line with his Mansion House speech and the Integrated Review Refresh – outlining the protect, align and engage pillars of the UK’s China strategy.
The Foreign Secretary was clear about the UK’s position on China’s malign cyber activity. In detailed discussions on Hong Kong, he stressed the damage caused by the Beijing-imposed National Security Law to rights and freedoms and consequently to China’s international reputation and raised the case of Jimmy Lai.
He also emphasised the importance to the international community of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. And he called for the immediate lifting of sanctions against Parliamentary colleagues. The Foreign Secretary made clear the UK’s strength of feeling about the mass incarceration of the Uyghur people in Xinjiang.
The Foreign Secretary agreed with Vice President Han Zheng and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the importance of direct cooperation between the UK and China on the biggest global challenges, such as climate change.
He made clear the UK position on key geopolitical issues including the conflict in Ukraine, the situation in North Korea and nuclear non-proliferation.
They agreed on the potential of AI to unlock huge opportunities but stressed the need for global coordination to mitigate risks and put protections in place.
The Foreign Secretary stressed the need for open dialogue, as well as the need for constructive engagement, when this is consistent with UK interests.