As he spends time with world leaders at the G20 in Bali this week, Rishi Sunak is having to unveil more of what his foreign policy could look like. One of the first cues to emerge is that he won’t commit to his predecessor’s policy of defining China as a “threat” in the Integrated Review, the UK’s strategy for defence, development and foreign policy.
Sunak’s stance towards China was a key dividing line during this summer’s leadership election. Many in the party feared he would have been too “soft” on China compared to Liz Truss, who didn’t shy away from using strong rhetoric when talking publicly about Beijing.
Sunak is likely to pay more attention to the potential economic and trade benefits of a working relationship with China. He stressed that defining China as a threat wouldn’t be in line with the strategy of allies such as the US and Australia.