Labour’s Peter Mandelson said the UK must decide what future relationship to have with China amid rising tensions. He claimed Boris Johnson’s Government is in a state of confusion due to the country’s repeated issues. The Labour MP questioned whether Britain is jumping on an “anti-China bandwagon”.
Speaking on Times Radio, Mr Mandelson said: “We’ve got to work out how to best to exert influence on China in order to maintain that framework of one country, two systems.”
He continued: “What do you mean telling China off?
“This is not Student Union politics where we pass resolutions and think we can somehow prevail against a country we don’t like.
“We’ve got to ask ourselves in this country where exactly we’re going to on China.
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“Whether it’s a matter of principle, we now want to boycott China because we don’t like it’s political system and leader.
“Or we feel we have to jump on the anti-China bandwagon because that’s the current fashion to do.
“Or whether we don’t want to do any of the above but we’ve been left with no alternative because President Trump’s declared a commercial war on China.
“We’ve really got to work out where we’re going on China. At the moment the Government is completely at sixes and sevens.”
Asked if the Government will change its mind on allowing Huawei a role in the building of the UK’s 5G network, Sir Richard said: “That’s certainly my expectation.
“I mean, I don’t have any direct inside knowledge but I think I’m one of the individuals who has been pressing very hard for Huawei to be excluded from the UK’s 5G.
“The problem is we have had a close relationship with Huawei dating back, I think, to the year 2000, so getting Huawei out of the systems can’t be done rapidly – it will have to be done cumulatively over time.
“But it looks to me now as though the Government have changed their view.”