Britain to Put Commerce With China First in President Xi Jinping’s State Visit – The New York Times

Xi Jinping 习近平

Xi Jinping 习近平 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the NYT, the British government has been criticized by many for putting commercial interests ahead of other concerns, including human rights, cybersecurity and China’s growing territorial ambitions. This is a carefully targeted article that concludes that Britain is putting commerce ahead of national security.

Source: Britain to Put Commerce With China First in President Xi Jinping’s State Visit – The New York Times

Personally, I think that the NYT article has touched an important nerve. National security has been savaged under George Osborne‘s austerity regime. Also Osborne’s defacto status as Deputy Prime Minister has allowed him to subordinate foreign policy in favor of short-term interests. Cameron and Osborne have often been criticized in lacking strategic vision, other than reducing Britain’s borrowing. Now we have witnessed a significant policy shift by Osborne in favor of China.

This week there will be much focus on the benefits of a closer Britain and China. Eventually, more serious commentators will follow the NYT’s lead and explore the opportunity costs and the risks of the policy shift.

Let me ask an open question:

Given the UK’s EU referendum, should there now be greater public scrutiny of the policy shift towards China?

Thoughts?

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