Liz Truss urges Rishi to brand China a ‘threat’ to British security | British News

Liz Truss will urge Rishi Sunak to take the ‘threat’ posed by China more seriously (Image: Reuters)

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss will use a trip to Taiwan to make a personal appeal to her successor, Rishi Sunak, to brand China a “threat” to Britain’s security.

Ms Truss is expected to use a speech in Taipei City on Wednesday to urge the prime minister to echo the language he used at last summer’s Conservative Party leadership contest.

During his unsuccessful election campaign, Mr Sunak, having only become Britain’s prime minister in October after Mrs Truss left after her disastrous No. 10 mini-budget, declared China the “biggest long-term threat to Britain” while pledging to end all 30 Confucius conflicts in Beijing to close institutes in the UK.

The institutes promote Chinese culture on college campuses and in some British schools.


Mr Sunak declared China the “biggest long-term threat to Britain” during his failed bid for leadership (Image: Getty)

In a pre-briefed excerpt of her speech to the Prospect Foundation, Ms Truss is expected to say: “Last summer the current British Prime Minister called China ‘the greatest long-term threat to Britain’ and said the Confucius Institutes should be closed.”

“He was right and we urgently need to ensure that these policies are implemented.”

“The UK’s integrated review needs to be amended to clearly state that China poses a threat.”

“Confucius Institutes should be closed immediately.” Instead, the service could be provided by organizations with support from Hong Kong and Taiwanese nationals who came to the UK for free.”

During her brief tenure as Prime Minister, Ms Truss was widely expected to persuade the British government to adopt a more aggressive stance in dealing with Beijing by declaring China a “threat” to national security under Communist Party rule.

However, her stay in Downing Street – which was shortened to just 44 days after her mini-budget last year impacted markets and collapsed confidence in her office as Prime Minister – had meant her updating the UK’s foreign policy position didn’t have time to become reality.

Instead, her successor, Mr Sunak, chose not to go that far and updated the UK’s integrated foreign and defense policy report in March, calling China an “epochal and systemic challenge”.

In this photo released by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, former British Prime Minister Liz Truss (left) talks with Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu upon their arrival at Taiwan's Taoyuan Airport on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. (Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs affairs via AP)

Ms Truss’ trip to Taiwan is the first by a former prime minister since Margaret Thatcher in the 1990s (Image: Getty)

In what is believed to be the first visit to Taiwan by a former British prime minister since Margaret Thatcher’s trip in the 1990s, Ms Truss is expected to urge the West not to cooperate with China and warn that totalitarian regimes are “not giving away”. the truth’.

“There are still too many in the West who cling to the idea that we can work with China on issues like climate change as if there’s nothing wrong with that; “There are bigger problems than China’s global dominance or the future of freedom and democracy,” she is expected to say.

“But without freedom and democracy there is nothing else.”

“We know what happens to the environment or world health under totalitarian regimes that don’t tell the truth.” “You can’t believe a word they say.”

Ms Truss is also expected to draw comparisons between China-Taiwan tensions and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Taiwan and China separated in 1949 after a civil war that ended with the Communist Party taking control of the mainland.

The island was never part of the People’s Republic of China, but Beijing says it must unite with the mainland by force if necessary.

Ms Truss will argue that her trip to the self-governing Pacific island, which she will describe as “an enduring rebuke of totalitarianism,” is about showing solidarity with the Taiwanese people.

But it comes amid fears of a potential Chinese backlash against Britain, with Beijing reacting when Nancy Pelosi, then Speaker of the US House of Representatives, visited Taiwan last year.

China retaliated for the visit by imposing a naval and air force blockade of Taiwan and cutting lines of communication with Washington on issues ranging from environmental protection to maritime security.

But Ms Truss will argue that fears of a new Cold War mean Western allies can’t help but respond to Chinese aggression as Beijing is already expanding its military.

She will say, “We must support free democracies like Taiwan in the face of aggression from a Chinese regime whose record is all too clear to the world.”

“We in the UK and in the free world must do whatever we can to support you.”

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Justin Scaccy

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