Truss set to designate China as a 'threat' to UK - reports
The move is justified on the basis that the UK opposes the alleged poor treatment of Uighur by Chinese authorities.
The Telegraph reported on Wednesday that UK Prime Minister Liz Truss is set to formally designate China as a “threat” to the UK, marking a major shift in the UK's foreign policy.
Not so shocking since the move was already announced prior to Truss's electoral victory.
The update is expected to be made within days in the UK's Integrated Review, a document published under former PM Boris Johnson's premiership on March 16, 2021, a document that sets out the government's vision for Global Britain, the UK's role in the world following its withdrawal from the EU.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson from Downing Street confirmed that the update is underway while adding that “Russia remains the biggest threat to the UK but China represents the most serious long-term threat to our values and way of life.”
Several China hawks welcomed the move including Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former party leader, and Tom Tugendhat, a security minister.
Truss and her party justify their stance on the grounds of China's poor record in human rights.
On September 1rst, the UK government published a press release that presented a UN Human Rights Chief's report on Xinjiang.
It claimed it found evidence that some Uighurs, a small Muslim community in China, were subjected to forced labor.
This is quite peculiar given that the UK scores among the three countries in the world where islamophobia is foremost rampant.
Just a week ago, London's Mayor, Sadiq Khan, was the target of heavy racist abuse by UK media platforms after The Telegraph issued a false report that Khan was planning to rule out a new statue of the Queen in a public park in London.
Moreover, it was reported on October 9 that anti-Muslim hate crimes increased by 42% in England and Wales for the fiscal year ending March 2022, as per the British Home Office.
Yet, the government doesn't do much to counter far-right tendencies and decides to "appease the far right by adopting some of their positions."
As for the UK's stance on China, it is unlikely that the US has a hand in fomenting a shift of this magnitude because the US itself still hasn't labeled China a "threat" to its domestic security.
On August 10, Truss summoned in August China's Ambassador to the UK, Zheng Zeguang, to "demand an explanation" for China's actions and rhetoric toward Taiwan. In a statement, Truss said, "I instructed officials to summon the Chinese ambassador to explain his country’s actions."
During a meeting with a senior British Foreign Ministry official, Zheng “firmly rejected and strongly condemned UK side’s irresponsible rhetoric about China’s legitimate and necessary response to US House Speaker’s Taiwan visit," as per the Chinese Embassy statement.
Read more: Truss vows to categorize China as "national threat to the UK"