Sino-British relations have recently become stalemate, but why did Britain become the first western developed country to recognize New China in 1950? Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said that establishing diplomatic relations is not to praise each other, but to secure a convenience. Although Britain expected that its assets in China would be nationalized by New China, it believed that a stable and industrialized China would be more beneficial to British business. In addition, in order to preserve Hong Kong, which was a colony, London gave up its wartime ally Chiang Kai-shek. It can be said that British diplomacy has always been practical and ideological.
Seventy years later, Britain tried again to act as the head of the West, but this time it aimed to strike China. The United Kingdom is the rotating presidency of the Group of Seven (G7) this year. It intends to expand the G7 into Australia, India, and South Korea to become the “Ten Democracies” (D10). The United Kingdom proposed D10 last year. It was originally designed to compete with Huawei in terms of 5G. As the Sino-British friction expands, this concept has now become fully targeted at China.
Britain’s intention to fill the American leadership vacuum is compatible with Biden’s plan to do a good job of internal affairs. Biden and British Prime Minister Johnson seem to have become “happy friends” because of this.
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Johnson is a populist politician who took the lead on Brexit. Biden, who opposed Brexit, used to sneer at him. He once claimed that Johnson “is a copy of Trump both in appearance and emotion.” Now the international situation makes the two hit it off.
After Biden took office, the first European leader to call was Johnson. Before Biden took office, Johnson even leaked in the British Parliament, calling Trump the “former president” and looking forward to cooperating with Biden.
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Britain feels good about itself recently, and there is a reason why it thinks it can take the lead against China.The Brexit agreement was finalized last year, which successfully allowed the European Union to grant zero tariff and quota-free treatment to the “willful” Britain. The UK’s vaccination has so far ranked first in Europe, and it has won the European Union, which has fallen into a vaccine shortage. This has made Britain more confident. In Johnson’s words, after Brexit, Britain will be a global player, Global Britain.
However, is the UK’s “global strategy” tenable?In the upcoming book “Britain Alone: The Path from Suez to Brexit”, Philip Stephens, a senior British media person, bluntly stated that the United Kingdom has not been since the end of World War II. Ken admits that the British Empire no longer exists and that Britain is only a part of Europe.
Stephens’s quote is remarkable. Henry Tizard, a British scientist who participated in the invention of radar in World War II, said in 1949:
“Britain will never become a great power again. We are a great nation, but if we continue to act like a great power, we will soon cease to be a great nation.”
Stephens believes that London has yet to hear it.
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After the war, Britain did think that it was still an empire that did not set the sun until the Suez crisis in 1956… (omitted)… This battle shows that the British era is officially over and the United States and the Soviet Union are the new hegemons of the world. .
After the Suez crisis, the British diplomatic country and security closely followed the United States, but still did not give up unrealistic illusions. The Prime Minister at the time, Harold Macmillan, believed that the United Kingdom was making the United States do a lot of work, and quietly issued orders in the ears of the other party… (Omitted)…Of course, this is not the case. Different from France’s efforts to strengthen itself after the Suez crisis… (omitted)
Although Britain depends on the United States for politics and Europe for its economy, it is just that the United Kingdom is equally awkward. As West Germany’s economy took off, it surpassed the United Kingdom and became the world’s third only after the United States and the Soviet Union before Japan emerged. In 1973, the United Kingdom finally… (omitted)… but only out of fear The European countries are isolated and left behind, unlike Germany and France… (omitted)
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Although the two pillars of “Political America and Economic Europe” are not well-founded, they have maintained the UK for half a century. However, Brexit has blown it to pieces. Stephens sighed… (slightly omitted)… He confessed that Johnson’s “Global Britain” is meaningless at all. “Just as (former prime minister) Wen Cuishan said, “Brexit means Brexit.” It’s just as meaningless.”
Britain’s “splendid isolation” diplomatic tradition has always been detached, regardless of ideology, and only talks about real politics. Now, London is trying to carry the banner of the Western world against China. In essence, it is only using China to cross the bridge to help the United Kingdom after Brexit. World role positioning…(Slightly omitted)…The problem is that the United Kingdom still has capital in the 21st century…(slightly omitted)…other members of G7 all have ideas about D10… … (omitted)
Former U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson described in 1962 that Britain lost its empire and could not find its role. This sentence today…
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Author: Lian Zhaofeng
Column name: China and foreign countries
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