DOMINIC RAAB was branded “naive” today for pledging to increase trade with China while denying that the Tory government is engaging in cold war-style tactics alongside the US.
In a speech to the US Aspen Security Forum, the Foreign Secretary said that Britain wanted to “tilt towards the growth opportunities of the future” in China.
He said that China is “here to stay” and that Britain would not “hark back” to the frosty relations of the cold war.
But his comments came a day after the publication of the government’s integrated review of foreign and defence policy. The document lists China and Russia as challenges and threats.
Fiona Edwards of the No Cold War campaign told the Morning Star: “The British government’s decision to join the US’s new cold war against China is very dangerous for the world and an act of self-harm.
“Not only will this cold war see Britain waste billions of pounds in a provocative and aggressive military build-up against China in the Pacific region but it is inevitable that engaging in such belligerence will cost Britain many jobs.
“The Tories are completely naive to believe that China will invest and create jobs in Britain if this country enthusiastically participates in Washington’s cold war.”
Ms Edwards added that Labour’s position, which argues that Britain should shun trading with China, puts them “to the right of the Tories on this issue.”
Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy had accused Mr Raab ahead of his speech of having “been caught saying one thing in public and another behind closed doors.”
She added: “If the Foreign Secretary genuinely believes the UK should be a force for good in the world, he should start by ruling out trade deals with countries guilty of genocide or other severe human rights abuses.”