This was the British-Indian leader’s first major speech on foreign policy since taking control at 10 Downing Street last Month. He reflected upon his past and pledged to spread British values of freedom, openness and equality around the globe.
He also pledged to “do it differently” in China when it came to British values, and interests.
“Before entering politics, I invested in businesses across the globe. Sunak stated that the Indo-Pacific opportunity is compelling.
“By 2050, Indo-Pacific will provide more than half the global growth rate compared to just 25% from Europe and North America. “That’s why we joined the Trans-Pacific trade agreement, the CPTPP,” he stated.
“Like many other people, my grandparents arrived in the UK via East Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and established their lives here. In the last few years, thousands of people have migrated to Ukraine, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, and Hong Kong. He stated that “We are a country which stands up for our values and that defends democracy with actions not just words.”
Sunak spoke out about China because he believes the UK should “evolve” its approach to China. He disassociated his government from the slogan that was used by the Conservative Party government seven years ago to describe bilateral relations between the UK and China.
“Let’s not be misled. The so-called golden era is over. So is the naive belief that trade will lead to social or political reform. However, we shouldn’t rely solely on Cold War rhetoric. “We recognize that China poses a systemic threat against our values and interests. This challenge grows more acutely as it moves towards greater authoritarianism,” he warned.
The former chancellor of 42 years admitted that China’s “significance”, as he called it, cannot be ignored. He also pointed out that other top economies, such as Australia, Canada, Australia, Japan, and the US, can also acknowledge China’s importance in international affairs.
“So together, we’ll manage this sharpening competitiveness, including diplomacy. Sunak said that this involves dramatically increasing our resilience and economic security.
Sunak, who reaffirmed his pro-Brexit vision of the UK, said that he would not accept any EU law alignment in favor of cooperation on common issues such as illegal immigration. Sunak also committed the UK’s support to Ukraine in its war with Russia as part Europe’s “collective resolution” to defend democratic values.
Russia is challenging fundamental UN Charter principles after years of pushing for the limits. China is conscious of its desire to be a global power, using all the tools of state power. To meet these challenges, wishful and short-term thinking won’t suffice. We can’t rely on Cold War strategies or arguments, or sentimentality about past events. “So, we will make an evolution in our approach,” he stated.
Sunak said that the UK’s foreign policy outlook would be further detailed in an updated Integrated Review, which will also address closer collaboration with Commonwealth countries.
“Under my leadership I will make sure we don’t accept the status quo. We will be different. We will continue to evolve, supported by our belief in freedom and openness and the rule-of-law. We are confident that, in times of challenge and competition, our interests will still be protected…and our values will prevail,” concluded he.
The Lord Mayor’s banquet at Guildhall, London’s financial center, is an annual event where UK Prime Minister addresses business leaders, international dignitaries, and foreign policy experts about the topic of foreign policy.