Allies of Liz Truss have said the leadership candidate will put China at the same threat level as Russia if she becomes Prime Minister next week.
The Times reported on Monday that China would be declared an “acute threat” if Ms Truss wins the Conservative leadership election.
The Foreign Secretary has promised to reopen the integrated review which describes Britain’s role in the world and the plan of action for international relations until 2025.
The review calls China a “systemic competitor” and says Britain must remain open to Chinese trade and protect itself against security risks.
It added: “Open trading economies like the UK will need to engage with China and remain open to Chinese trade and investment.
“But they must also protect themselves against practices that have an adverse effect on prosperity and security.”
An ally of Ms Truss told the Times that there would “be no more economic partnerships”.
They said: “That was all meant to be suspended after Hong Kong.”
The Times also revealed a leaked document last month in which Ms Truss is expected to focus more on national security due to China taking more democratic freedoms away from Hong Kong in 2021.
A Truss campaign source has said the Tory candidate will take a “hawkish stance” on China if she becomes Prime Minister.
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A spokesman for China’s foreign minister has said that Beijing would not speak about UK politics.
The spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said China was not interested in talking about the UK leadership election and was not interested in the subject.
However, he added: “I’d like to advise some UK politicians that it is an extremely irresponsible remark to make an issue out of China and hype the so-called ‘China threat’.
“It does not solve the UK’s own problems, either.”