BRITAIN has upped the ante with Beijing as the Trade Secretary warned global deals should be rooted in democracy and the rules of law.
Liz Truss insisted that a “Global Britain” would not kowtow to the likes of China, which uses forced labour.
PM Boris Johnson risked fanning the flames with a thinly veiled attack on Chinese traditional medicine, which he said was to blame for the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to world leaders at the One Planet Summit yesterday, he said the practice of using scales from endangered pangolins as a treatment for impotence was “demented”.
Meanwhile, Ms Truss outlined how the UK will use the G7 presidency to get tough on countries that do not play by global trade rules.
She said that global trade is currently happening in an “era rife with pernicious practices” while saying it is not right that British businesses – like ceramics manufacturers in Stoke on Trent – can be “undercut by goods subsidised by state owned enterprises.”
In a slapdown to China’s use of Uighur Muslims as slaves in Xinjiang province she added: “It’s not right that… goods can come into this country that have been produced through forced labour in our abhorrent conditions.
“We need to think radically about how we generate economic growth, and how we are going to use our new global platform in 2021 – to promote free and fair trade and how we are going to take on those countries who tried to cheat, and to undermine free enterprise.
“Allies like Australia, South Korea, and India will be key to forging that group of democratic nations who can stand up for democracy, for human rights, for fair and free trade and of course, we're very committed to working with them.”
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