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James Cleverly to make landmark China go to in bid to ‘defend UK nationwide safety’

Overseas secretary James Cleverly will make a landmark go to to China on Wednesday in a bid to reaffirm the UK’s safety of nationwide safety.

Cleverly, who’s at present within the Philippines, will fly to Beijing on August 30 for high-level talks with prime officers together with vice chairman Han Zheng and overseas affairs minister Wang Yi.

The journey would be the first by a UK overseas secretary since 2018 – 5 years in the past – and an opportunity to additional UK’s efforts to cooperate with China on cyber, safety and human rights.

It comes because the Occasions stories prime minister Rishi Sunak is open to assembly Chinese language premier Xi Jinping on the G20 subsequent month, as relations between the 2 nations thaw.

Cleverly mentioned: “It will be significant we handle our relationship with China throughout a variety of points.

“No important international downside – from local weather change to pandemic prevention, from financial instability to nuclear proliferation – may be solved with out China.”

He added: “China’s measurement, historical past and international significance means they can’t be ignored, however that comes with a duty on the worldwide stage.

“That duty means China fulfilling its worldwide commitments and obligations”.

The UK strategy to partaking with China was outlined in Cleverly’s Mansion Home speech in April. It consists of nationwide safety safety when Beijing poses a menace; alignment with allies within the Indo-Pacific to uphold worldwide legislation; and selling steady China relations.

The overseas secretary is predicted to debate points with counterparts together with international local weather change; Putin’s battle in Ukraine; tensions within the South China Sea; and cyber exercise.

He may also handle Beijing’s human rights violations, together with in direction of the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province, and in Tibet, and problem the erosion of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong, below the Nationwide Safety Legislation, and sanctioning of UK MPs, it has been confirmed.

Cleverly is following within the footsteps of US secretary of state Antony Blinken, who visited Beijing in June, however is more likely to be criticised by Tory China hawks with safety considerations.

The journey would mark the primary time the UK authorities’s present China coverage confronted a key check.