Britain's Janus-faced China policy

A woman wearing a protective face mask is seen near Tower Bridge, after new nationwide restrictions were announced during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in London, Britain, Nov 3, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

London's China policy has gone extremely Janus-faced, if not deranged.

Addressing the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab maliciously smeared the human rights record in Xinjiang. He even attempted to lobby other council members and the United Nations to join his rumor-mongering campaign.

However, just a few days ago, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly branded himself as "fervently Sinophile" and vowed to improve ties with China.

Over the past two years, Downing Street's China policy has grown increasingly inconsistent. Sometimes, it looks like a person's two hands are working against each other.

While one hand was giving the order to promote bilateral cooperation with China, notably in trade and economy, the other one issued instructions to ban Huawei in Britain's 5G rollout, blocked China's law-abiding television network, adopted tailored policy for Hong Kong residents, and barred the import of goods from Xinjiang citing the so-called use of "forced labor."

Carrying out such a two-faced policy is like splashing dirty water onto someone repeatedly and then saying, "Never mind and let's be friends."

London also seems to be self-deceiving. It appears that some British policymakers are pretending their anti-China talking will not be heard by China.

The only logical explanation for such duplicity is that London intends to eat the cake and have it. It wants to cash in on its pragmatic cooperation with China while pretending that it can stand tough against what the "Western democracies" call the "Red China."

The British decision-makers need to know that such a Janus-faced strategy will only lead to double failure on both fronts.

In the post-pandemic and post-Brexit era, a healthy and stable relationship with China is in line with Britain's own long-term interests. And that relationship is only possible when London knows how to foster mutual trust and respect with Beijing.

Of course, it is London's liberty to choose to advocate the so-called Western values. Yet if it seeks to do it at the expense of China's core interests, Beijing will not sit quietly.




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