UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Rabb, who is also currently standing in for Prime Minister Boris Johnson whilst he recovers, has said that there will have to be a review of the UK’s relationship with China once the Coronavirus pandemic has ended.
At the daily briefing, broadcast from 10 Downing Street, Foreign Secretary Rabb told journalists that: “There’s no doubt we can’t have business as usual after this crisis. We’ll have to ask the hard questions about how it came about and how it could have been stopped earlier.”
This comes after growing calls from within the Conservative Party in Parliament to take a tougher stance on China over their mishandling of the spread of COVID-19. Senior Conservative MP and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat had written a series of articles in the UK press calling for the government to launch an investigation into the way China mislead the world over the extent to which the virus had spread.
In one article Tugendhat said: “Now, more than ever, Britain needs to consider its relationship with China, our hunger for its goods and investment. Do we want to import China’s authoritarian value system as well as its products? Or should we work with other free nations and reduce our growing dependence on this dictatorship?”
The Foreign Secretary backed calls for an investigation into the actions of the Chinese Communist Party saying: “There absolutely needs to be a very deep dive on lessons, including on the outbreak of the virus, and I don’t think we can flinch from that at all,” Mr Rabb hinted that other countries were willing to back these calls for a review.
Speaking during the daily briefing, Foreign Secretary Rabb concluded that “the one thing the coronavirus has taught us is the value, and the importance, of international cooperation.”