Director's Briefing: What’s next for UK/China relations?

In conversation with Dame Caroline Wilson DCMG, British Ambassador to China

Partner and major corporate event, Director's Briefing Invitation only
7 June 2023 — 8:00AM TO 9:15AM
Chatham House

The UK Foreign Secretary has stated that ‘no punchy catchphrase or plausible adjective can do justice to a country with the rich, complex history of China – or to any sensible approach towards it’ and that ‘no significant global challenge, from climate change to pandemic prevention, economic stability to nuclear proliferation, can be solved without China.’

For the UK, this will mean balancing the need to both pursue its national interest in dealing with China whilst, alongside allies, defending UK national security interests and values.

The Integrated Review refresh published in March 2023 underlined the strategic importance of the Indo-Pacific region to the UK, and in doing so stated ‘China poses an epoch-defining challenge to the type of international order we want to see, both in terms of security and values,’ whilst calling for engagement in areas where the UK and China can work together for mutual benefit, such as building strong trade and investment and people-to-people relationships.

This discussion examines:

  • What power can the UK leverage in its relationship with China?
  • What are the short and long-term economic and security threats posed by China?
  • How does China’s relationship with Russia factor in the UK’s stance on China?
  • Is the UK right to ‘tilt’ to the Indo Pacific? Should this be an economic, military, or soft power project?