Rishi Sunak warns China wants to ‘reshape the world order’ at G7 summit but insists UK needs to keep economic
HIROSHIMA: China is able and willing to “reshape the world order” to better suit its global goals, Rishi Sunak warned as the G7 aimed to mark a turning point in the West’s relations with Beijing.
The Prime Minister said that Britain and its allies must work to protect their supply chains and stop China from acquiring critical security technology.
But he rejected the idea of entirely “decoupling” from the economic superpower even as the West seeks to build new safeguards against it.
Speaking at the end of the G7 summit in Japan, Mr Sunak said: “China poses the biggest challenge of our age to global security and prosperity. They are increasingly authoritarian at home and assertive abroad.
“And, as the G7 has showed, the UK’s response is completely aligned with our allies. This is all about derisking – not decoupling. And with the G7, we are taking steps to prevent China from using economic coercion to interfere in the sovereign affairs of others.”
Asked whether the alliance was truly united on the dangers of China, he insisted: “There is complete resolve and unity within the G7, first of all just recognising the systemic challenge that China poses to the world order – it is the only country with both the means and intent to reshape the world order.”
The Prime Minister added: “What we have done in the statement is make it very clear that we will work together, as the G7 and other countries, to make sure that we can derisk ourselves and the vulnerabilities in our supply chains that we have seen from China; take the steps that we need to protect ourselves from hostile investment; and do so in a way that doesn’t damage each other.
“We also had conversations about ensuring that important technology pertinent to our security does not leak to China.”
The 40-page G7 communique issued on Saturday contained the most forceful condemnation yet of China’s global conduct, including its stance on the Ukraine war.
The G7 members – Britain, the US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and the EU – said: “We call on China to press Russia to stop its military aggression, and immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukraine. We encourage China to support a comprehensive, just and lasting peace based on territorial integrity and the principles and purposes of the UN Charter, including through its direct dialogue with Ukraine.”
They also denounced Beijing’s bullying of smaller countries, human rights violations and ambition to seize control of Taiwan.
Some Conservative MPs are pressuring Mr Sunak to go even further in his condemnation of the Chinese Government, accusing him of being overly concerned with the need to maintain economic ties to the country.