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    5. James Cleverley: Working with China is 'uncomfortable chatter over tea ..


    James Cleverley: Working with China is 'uncomfortable chatter over tea and biscuits'

    James Cleverley says that “dealing with China does not mean agreeing with China.” Photo: Jeff Pugh for The Telegrah

    James Cleverly said his meetings with Chinese officials were not “comfortable chat over tea and biscuits” as he defended himself against calls for the government to take a tougher stance on Xi Jinping.

    The foreign secretary told The Telegraph that he raised human rights issues and sanctions against British MPs “whenever he spoke to Chinese ministers and said turning off the regime “would not be a show of force.”< /p>

    Mr. Cleverley has been criticized by Conservative MPs, including his former boss Liz Trouss, for refusing to classify China as a “threat” in response to the prime minister's aggressive foreign policy and mistreatment of Uyghur Muslims.

    < p>In his speech this week, he said it would be “impossible, impractical and – most importantly – unwise” to sum up Britain's relationship with the communist state in such a word, and promised to “engage with China where necessary”.


    This approach is not popular among Conservative MPs from the two powerful groups set up to oversee UK-China relations, the China Study Group and the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC).

    China Under Xi – Military Spending

    Earlier in this Last month, Ms Truss told Western democracies that they should “realize” on China and accused the leaders of “appeasement” of the country in the face of human rights violations and threats to Taiwan.

    The Foreign Minister said he was criticized by “some of [his] closest friends” in Parliament and that while he listens to their opinion, “the friends disagree on absolutely everything.”

    with China on these issues is not easy, and we can only do it convincingly if we interact with China,” he said.

    “As for defining diplomatic language, people should really understand that interaction with China China does not mean agreement with China.

    “Talking to China is not comfortable chatter over tea and biscuits. It's about highlighting our disagreement with the actions they're taking that we don't agree with. #39;I had a conversation with the Chinese minister, whether face to face or by phone, I always emphasized the plight of the Uyghur Muslims, I always emphasized their attitude towards Hong Kong.

    “I have always criticized their decision to enter sanctions against my fellow parliamentarians and always demanded that they lift these sanctions.”

    Ms. Truss promised to reclassify China as a “threat” to a defense review after she took office, but was unable to complete it before she was forced to resign.

    Mr. Sunak was criticized for softening his stance on China after last summer's Conservative leadership race in which he described the country as “the biggest threat to Britain and world security and prosperity.”

    Since taking office, he has refused to repeat this statement and instead referred to the end of the “golden age” in British-Chinese relations once proclaimed by David Cameron and George Osborne.

    Responding to the suggestion that Mr. Mrs. Truss' criticism of the government's new approach made life difficult for him, Mr. Cleverley said: “If you want an easy life, Foreign Secretary is not the job you need.”

    “These are some of my most close friends to Parliament. They are old, old, old, old friends.

    “She made me foreign minister because she saw me working as foreign minister.

    “Now that doesn't mean that we have always agreed to every specific detail of each specific item. Friends absolutely disagree on everything, and of course I respect her thoughts on this matter.

    “She knows what she is talking about, she was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and she has strong views. And, of course, I listened to these opinions, as I listen to the opinions of others.”

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