Relations between the two countries have deteriorated following criticism of China’s repression of Uyghur minorities and its authoritarian approach to the former British colony of Hong Kong.
However, Johnson stressed that Britain would not be “naive” about China’s investments in key national infrastructure (CNI) such as nuclear power plants and high-speed 5G networks.
“China is a big part of our economic life and it will last a long time.” Johnson said. “But that doesn’t mean we have to be naive about our vital national infrastructure.” Added.
According to Johnson, the United Kingdom maintains a “cautious” approach to China, which the government describes as a “legitimate competitor” but also plays a key role in tackling international issues such as climate change.
“We have to be careful about how we handle our vital infrastructure and foreign direct investment from China, so we keep the law we have.” Added.
He noted that despite tensions over the controversial AUKUS security agreement with Australia and the United States, which is widely seen as a reflection of China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region, trade relations between the two countries will continue to expand.
“Despite all the problems, despite the tough talks about the Dalai Lama, or Hong Kong or the Uyghurs, we will continue to hold our views and trade with China will continue to grow.” he said.
Britain angered China last year after it warned that the United States was at risk of spying on telecommunications company Huawei to use its technology to build its 5G network.
The media speculates that London is close to a deal with the French ETF to force the Chinese state-owned nuclear company CGN to withdraw its stake in the Sizewell C nuclear plant in the east of England.
Meanwhile, CGN is working with EDF to build a new nuclear power plant at Hingley Point in southwest England.
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