Dominic Raab has warned that business will not return to normal with China, as he hinted at a significant reset in relations between the UK and Beijing. The Foreign Secretary hinted on Sky News that the UK’s extradition treaty to Hong Kong could now be suspended. He also said that the Government was aware they had to be “very careful in our dealings” with China since the tensions intensified.
Sophy Ridge on Sky News asked Mr Raab whether he agreed with the former head of MI6, who last week called for a reset in the UK relationship with China.
Mr Raab responded: “We need to be very careful in our dealings. We want a positive relationship.
“There is scope for cooperation in trade and investment, but also on climate change. We need to be able work with China.
“But, we will always make clear our position on our key interests and values to China, as we have done on Huawei and Hong Kong.”
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He continued: “We have said it won’t be business as usual after COVID-19.
“We are working with our intentional partners to get a proper inquiry into what exactly happened with this pandemic.
“We want to make sure we don’t slip into a dogmatic approach to China. We will follow our national interest and work with China where we can do positive.
“But we must be clear-eyed and clear-sighted, and protect our interests.”
These laws greatly reduce Hong Kong’s autonomy and mean protestors in the city risk can be arrested for “sedition”.
Last week, the UK Government announced all technology from Chinese firm Huawei must be removed from Britain’s 5G network by 2027, prompting a furious backlash from Beijing.
British firms operating in China have since been warned they could face retaliation from Beijing.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a fierce China critic, will visit Britain later this week for talks with the Foreign Secretary.
During the interview, Mr Raab also said the UK was “absolutely confident” that Russian intelligence agencies were trying to sabotage or profit from the research and development on finding a COVID-19 cure.