"RISHI SUNAK’S Hawkish Antagonization of BEIJING Has Not Gone Unnoticed, Despite hid Recent Softening"
"Since the conclusion of China’s 20th Communist Party Congress, Xi Jinping has been on a diplomatic blitzkrieg. He’s met with leaders from countries all over the world, including the German chancellor, the French president and even US President Joe Biden himself. He’s keeping up the momentum as New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has received an invitation to visit Beijing. China believes that diplomacy is critical to prevent the US from isolating it.
But one important country has thus far been left on the sidelines – the United Kingdom. A meeting between Xi Jinping and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, scheduled at the UK’s request during the recent G20 summit, was cancelled. It came just as Sunak, at least superficially, softened his rhetoric on Beijing and sought to re-engage, after having portrayed himself as an ultra-hawk during the leadership contest at home. He even scrapped Liz Truss’s designation of Beijing as a “security threat” to his country."
"But that hasn’t saved him from Beijing’s wrath. China is getting tough on Britain, in a similar way to how it did on Scott Morrison’s Australia. While the impasse with Canberra ended with the election of Antony Albanese as Prime Minister, who is more pragmatic in handling China ties, Beijing now sees London as the one playing the role of the “insufferable poodle” of the US, and will likely deliberately block engagement until it changes course."