Published: 10:27, December 2, 2021 | Updated: 10:27, December 2, 2021
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UK risks crossing China's redline by blindly clinging to US' coattails
By China Daily

In his speech at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London on Tuesday, Richard Moore, head of the United Kingdom's Secret Intelligence Service, made it clear that despite the lessons it should have learned, the UK is still willing to swallow whatever the US feeds it hook, line and sinker.

The M16 chief said China, Russia, Iran and international terrorism are the "big four" security issues facing the UK. By paralleling three sovereign states, two of them permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, with a public enemy of humanity, Moore revealed how low the China-bashers in the UK are willing to stoop.

Moore said China is the UK intelligence agency's "single greatest priority", and warned of Beijing making a miscalculation on the Taiwan question through overconfidence and an underestimation of Washington's resolve to support the secessionists on the island.

Hyping up China's efforts to realize national reunification as "a serious challenge to global stability and peace" is an irresponsible and groundless claim that constitutes grim interference in China's internal affairs. And it showed that the UK intelligence agency risks a miscalculation through overconfidence and underestimating China's resolve to realize national reunification.

Moore should bear in mind that in his telephone talk with President Xi Jinping on Oct 29, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson fully acknowledged China's role as an economic, trade, education and clean energy partner, as well as the two countries' common interests and consensuses on many important issues, such as global public health, the world's economic recovery, the Iranian nuclear issue and anti-terrorism.

The UK's unquestioning following of the US' lead has put it in an awkward position in dealing with China, which is its major trade partner and investor. The great lengths the UK has gone to eliminate Huawei from its market, without a plan B with better cost performance, terminate its nuclear power cooperation with China at the cost of paralyzing the project, and welcoming Chinese investment after Brexit while customizing discriminatory rules for it, speak volumes of the potential that exists for bilateral win-win cooperation.

China and the US have never ceased exchanges to manage their divergences and expand their common interests, but it is advisable for the UK to give some serious consideration to whether it should keep a safe distance from the US' strategy to contain China. Sitting Washington's geopolitical game out would not affect the two countries' alliance. Rather, doing so would reserve space for the UK to better serve its own interests by engaging with China in a responsible way. The UK only has to look at the mess Australia has got itself into clinging to the coattails of the US to see that blindly playing follow-the-leader is not necessarily the wisest course.

For China-UK relations to fare well, as President Xi said, mutual trust must be the foundation, understanding the precondition, and proper management of differences the key. China views its relations with the UK from a strategic and long-term perspective, and hopes that the UK will respect facts and perceive China's development path and rejuvenation in an objective way.