The UK responded sharply to the Chinese regime after it mocked its expansion of relations with Japan, “to address the strategic threat posed by China,” announced in New York on the occasion of the 77th UN General Assembly. 

On the one hand, Prime Minister Liz Truss met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio and thanked him for supporting the UK’s application to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP).

In addition, the Truss government had already committed to the Indo-Pacific region, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Dialogue Partnership, and the military alliance signed between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (AUKUS), to counter China’s advances in the Indo-Pacific region.

Moreover, on the same day, September 20, Kishida and Truss agreed to “…sign a bilateral defense cooperation pact at an early date and to step up talks on a proposal to jointly develop a fighter jet,” Kyodo News reported. 

Truss served as foreign minister in her previous post and was one of the strongest critics of British policy toward the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 

In the opinion of his constituents, her predecessor, Boris Johnson, was criticized for not being sufficiently firm in that relationship. 

In this regard, Truss’ statements published by CNBC earlier this month show her determination to counter the power of a CCP she sees as a threat on the international stage.

“Countries must play by the rules and that includes China,” Truss emphasized, adding that the Chinese regime was “rapidly building a military capable of projecting power deep into areas of European strategic interest.”

She also referred to the most sensitive foreign policy issue for the regime and for world stability: Taiwan and its democracy. 

Truss said that China’s rise was not inevitable and that the West had to ensure that Taiwan could defend itself. The constant aggression with which the CCP tries to intimidate the Taiwanese is of concern to all.

In this context, Beijing’s official media branded Truss a “radical populist” and added that she should abandon the “outdated imperial mentality.”

However, analyst James Rogers, co-founder of the London-based think tank Council on Geostrategy, said Truss would restrict the CCP’s strategic purchases in the country and seek to integrate other countries to act with similar policies.

Roger said, “She understands that short-term economic benefits can have a long-term strategic and political impact, and she will try to balance these more effectively than in the past.”

Shortly before that, Tokyo and London had forged closer ties to cooperate bilaterally on defense. These would allow the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the British military to conduct joint training and other disaster relief work.

The CCP’s mockery

Ahead of Truss and Kishida’s meeting in New York, the CCP’s media mouthpiece, the Global Times, mockingly attacked the announcements as “petty tricks” and provocations intended to “contain China.” It also called the UK and Japan “little brothers” of the U.S. 

In addition, the Chinese regime alluded to the alleged weakening of the UK, saying, “Britain, which is still immersed in the long-gone glory of the ’empire on which the sun never sets,’ tends to believe it can still make a difference in international affairs.'”

As for Japan, the regime accused it of seeking to “become a global power and enhance its worldwide discourse power” and helping to strengthen NATO in the Asia-Pacific region close to its territory. 

In the past, Japan and the UK have openly criticized the CCP for human rights violations and for constant threats against Taiwan, a democracy it is trying to intimidate with territorial invasion.

The United Kingdom ignores the taunts and continues with its strategy

In March, the Defense, Security, and Foreign Policy Review noted that the Chinese regime is the “biggest state-based threat” to the UK’s economic security and presents a “systemic challenge” to Britain.

As a result, the UK issued an order to remove all Chinese-based Huawei equipment from 5G networks by 2027. 

It also blocked purchasing electronic design software company Pulsic on security grounds. In addition, it may restrict the purchase of the UK’s most significant semiconductor plant, Newport Wafer Fab, by entities linked to the CCP.

Thus, in addition to protecting Britain’s interests, Truss stated on September 25 that her government would ensure, with allied countries, that Taiwan acquires the capability to defend itself. 

“Well, what I’ve been clear about is that all of our allies need to make sure Taiwan is able to defend itself, and that is very, very important,” Truss said

Moreover, for the prime minister, the impact of her government policies should be even broader, as she will work with G7 member countries against “strategic dependence” on China.

She will also insist on implementing a “common response” to the threat of military aggression by the Chinese regime, in an apparent reference to the aggressions against Taiwan. 

On the other hand, the restrictive strategy towards the CCP pursued by the UK, represented by Prime Minister Liz Truss, is part of the global trend that is gradually stripping the Chinese regime of its past importance.

In addition to scandalous human rights violations, many countries are concerned about the threats of invasion with which the CCP constantly intimidates Taiwan. 

In this regard, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has become a dedicated defender of Taiwan’s integrity and democracy. 

On September 27, Pompeo declared, “If we want a free 21st century, and not the Chinese century, the century which Xi Jinping dreams of, the old paradigm of blind engagement must end,” at an economic forum in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.

He added, “China’s aggressive conduct, diplomatically, militarily, economically … have changed this region. And it brought those who prefer peace and commerce even more closely together.”

Moreover, he urged the United States to ensure the defense of Taiwan and its people and officially recognize Taiwan as a free and sovereign country.

He also said that the reality is that Taiwan “does not need to declare its independence,” as it is already an independent nation.

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