New Delhi: China on Monday (July 25, 2022) hit back at UK Prime Minister candidate Rishi Sunak for calling Beijing “the biggest-long-term threat to Britain” and said that the remarks are “irresponsible”. Reacting to Sunak’s statement, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that remarks about China, including hyping up so-called “China threat”, cannot solve one’s own problems.
“I want to make it clear to certain British politicians that making irresponsible remarks about China, including hyping up so-called “China threat”, cannot solve one’s own problems,” Zhao Lijian said.
Earlier on Monday, former UK finance minister Rishi Sunak said that for too long, politicians in Britain and across the West have “turned a blind eye to China’s nefarious activity”.
“For too long, politicians in Britain and across the West have rolled out the red carpet and turned a blind eye to China’s nefarious activity and ambitions. I will change this on Day 1 as PM,” he said.
The Indian-origin leader added that he would ban Confucius Institutes, which are funded by the Chinese government, in Britain, and use spy agencies to help British businesses counter Chinese spying.
Sunak also said that he would examine the case for banning Chinese acquisitions of key British assets, including strategically sensitive tech firms.
Sunak and UK foreign secretary Liz Truss are fighting in an increasingly divisive Conservative Party leadership contest to replace Boris Johnson after a revolt against his scandal-ridden administration forced him to say he would stand down.
Truss is ahead in polls among members of the Conservative Party who will choose their new leader and Britain`s next prime minister, but Sunak is hoping that weeks of hustings and debates will help his campaign ahead of a vote result due on September 5.
(With agency inputs)