China

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:43 pm on 20th July 2020.

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Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood Chair, Defence Committee, Chair, Defence Committee, Chair, Defence Sub-Committee, Chair, Defence Sub-Committee 3:43 pm, 20th July 2020

May I very much welcome the much more robust attitude that we are seeing from the Front Bench? My right hon. Friend speaks about China’s economic rise, but I believe that that has coincided with a demise in a collective sense of duty and responsibility of the west. For decades, we have turned a blind eye to China’s democratic deficit and its human rights violations in the hope that it would mature into a globally responsible citizen, but that clearly has not happened. So, given its actions in the South China sea and given its veto, which it constantly uses at the United Nations, as well as the fact that it ignores WTO advice and is ensnaring so many poorer countries into debt, is this now the turning point where we drop the pretence that China shares our values? I very much welcome the statement today, but it is tactical. Can we have a strategic overhaul of our foreign policy in relation to China?