Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 1:30 pm on 16th March 2023.
That was a disappointment. The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. It is clear from my contribution, and will be clear from what others will say, that we do see China as a threat. We want to have a working relationship, but we have to recognise that China quite clearly does not.
Surely, if any lessons are to be learned from the relationship with Russia over the last 10 years, for example, it is that kowtowing, appeasing or ignoring will lead to only more egregious actions by the aggressor state—from Russia in the past, but from China in the future. China has been watching the war that Russia has inflicted on Ukraine, and it will have noted that while Russian troops are killing, raping and bombing Ukrainian citizens, Western states in some cases have been prevaricating and debating what to do in response. China is watching, and so is Taiwan. Sending weapons is good, but it could all have been avoided if the warning signs about Russia were heeded several years ago.