UK's impetus to decouple from China "weird": former British official

Xinhua News,LONDON
2020-07-16 15:53

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LONDON, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Britain's impetus to decouple from China is a bit like the "weird self-imposed dilemmas that drove Brexit," Jim O'Neill, former British treasury minister, was quoted by the Financial Times (FT) as saying.

In a column article titled "UK-China relations: from 'golden era' to the deep freeze" published Tuesday, O'Neill, coiner of the acronym BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), voiced his worry about the widening row between Britain and China.

The engagement with China has delivered significant economic gains for Britain, said O'Neill, adding that the relationship has helped Britain triple its exports to China in the decade to 2018 and become the top European recipient of Chinese investment.

"If you think about Britain's economic future, you have to think which parts of the world are going to be relevant," he said, warning against being too influenced by the United States.

O'Neill's remarks were echoed by former British Cabinet minister Peter Mandelson, who expressed concern that Britain will suffer a lot if it isolates itself from China, especially after the Brexit and facing the U.S. protectionism.
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