Boris Johnson looks to build new global coalition to rival China
Boris Johnson and Joe Biden are planning to lead a global coalition against China after Beijing imposed sanctions on a swathe of UK lawmakers earlier this week.
The pair are reportedly looking to create a rival initiative to China’s belt and road initiative, which sees the country invest in infrastructure in developing countries in a bid to gain political influence.
The Sunday Times reports that Johnson yesterday told a group of MPs, who were last week sanctioned by China, about the UK’s own belt and road initiative at a meeting in Downing Street.
Biden also told reporters in the US on Friday: “I suggested [to Boris Johnson] we should have, essentially, a similar initiative, pulling from the democratic states.”
Johnson met with Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Nusrat Ghani, Tim Loughton, Baroness Helena Kennedy and Lord David Alton who were all sanctioned by Beijing after Johnson imposed sanctions on senior Chinese Communist Party members for the country’s ethnic cleansing campaign against Uyghur Muslims.
Tory MPs Tom Tugendhat and Neil O’Brien, and their China Research Group of MPs, were also sanctioned by China, however the pair were not invited to the Number 10 meeting.
The group of parliamentarians have all been staunch critics of Xi Jinping’s regime and its suite of human rights abuses.
The Sunday Times reports that Johnson told the group of MPs and peers that China was “buying up great parts of the developing world”, leaving countries in Africa “trapped in Chinese debt”.
Johnson reportedly added: “We need to come up with an alternative so that countries have a choice. The west needs to do this.”
The UK, US and EU jointly levelled “Magnitsky-style” asset freezes and travel bans against Chinese officials on Monday.
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab said China’s treatment of Uighurs was “one of the worst human rights crises of our time” and “the largest mass detention of an ethnic or religious group since the second World War”.
A wide body of evidence has been collected by human rights groups and foreign governments of a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Uyghur Muslims, which the US has labelled as genocide.
The evidence includes the mass internment of 1m Uighurs, forced sterilisation of women, religious persecution and the forceable removal of children from their parents.