In the News

China – The UK’s New BFF

Jonny Clark

23rd October 2015

So, Chinese President Xi Jinping has now left the UK after his very visible state visit – but it has not been without some controversy. The UK Government has faced some criticism about how heavily it is courting the Chinese in order to tap into their economic power whilst playing down any concerns that we might have over human rights issues within the Republic. Just as selling arms to Saudi Arabia brings criticism, so has the UK’s involvement with China.

The United States indicated some surprise at the apparent closeness of the economic and political links between the London and Beijing. Perhaps that criticism comes from a very close ally, slightly worried that the UK may be finding a new best friend forever?

Ultimately, as very succinctly put in this short video, the size and power of the Chinese economy would appear to be a huge lure for the UK. One interesting aside, however, is the fact that the Chinese are keen for the UK to remain within the EU, whilst increasing ties with the Chinese allows the UK to position itself as less reliant on its European neighbours.

Economic students should, of course, stick to economics when making discussing the relationship between the UK and China. However, there is no harm in making an evaluative point (as part of an extended answer) that political concerns will have an impact on our society’s desire to trade with other nations.

Jonny Clark

Jon Clark has been teaching economics and business studies for over 25 years primarily in the Further Education sector. Before joining tutor2u, he was a senior manager at South Cheshire College in Crewe.

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