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Prime Minister Sunak says UK’s ‘golden era’ with China is over

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LONDON -British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Monday that the so-called “golden era” of relations with China was over, saying Beijing’s systemic challenge to Britain’s interests and values was growing more acute.

In his first major foreign policy speech, Sunak said Britain’s approach to China needed to evolve and Beijing was “consciously competing for global influence using all the levers of state power”.

“So be in no doubt, we will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. We will maintain or increase our military aid next year. And we will provide new support for air defence,” he said. Sunak said under his leadership Britain would not choose the “status quo” and would confront international competitors “not with grand rhetoric but with robust pragmatism”.

Sunak said Britain needed to take the same long-term approach as its adversaries and competitors such as Russia and China. “In the face of these challenges, short-termism or wishful thinking will not suffice. We can’t depend on Cold War arguments or approaches, or mere sentimentality about the past,” he said.

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