Liz Truss pledges to boost Commonwealth ties if she becomes Prime Minister ‘to counter China trade threat’
- If she becomes PM, Truss said she would launch a ‘New Commonwealth Deal’
- This would ensure the 56 Commonwealth countries act as a bulwark to China
Liz Truss has pledged to counter China’s dominance by forging stronger Commonwealth trade ties if she becomes prime minister.
The Foreign Secretary said she wanted to offer nations ‘a clear alternative to growing malign influence from Beijing’.
By prioritising trade with countries across the Commonwealth, she said economic and security ties would be strengthened – and British businesses would receive a major boost.
Miss Truss said she would launch a ‘New Commonwealth Deal’ to ensure the 56 Commonwealth countries act as a bulwark to China.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss arrives at her offices in central London, Britain, 27 July 2022
Announcing her proposals as the Commonwealth Games gets under way, Miss Truss said: ‘I will ensure the Commonwealth sits at the heart of my plans for Global Britain.
‘As one of the largest groups of freedom-loving democracies, we must ensure there are clear benefits to remaining a member of the Commonwealth and offer nations a clear alternative to growing malign influence from Beijing.
‘Prioritising trade with countries across the Commonwealth will strengthen economic and security ties whilst also turbocharging opportunities for British businesses to access one of the world’s largest economic blocs.’
Miss Truss accused her rival Rishi Sunak of pushing for a closer relationship with China during a heated TV debate on Monday.
Conservative Party Leadership Candidate Liz Truss leaves Ealing TV Studios in west London after attending a TV debate
Mr Sunak said there was a need to acknowledge that Beijing is a ‘threat to our national security, it is a threat to our economic security’.
Miss Truss challenged his comments, saying: ‘As recently as a month ago you were pushing for closer trade relationships with China.
‘This is not something you’ve advocated in government, I’m delighted that you’ve come round to my way of thinking but it has been driven by the Foreign Office – the tougher stance that we’ve taken on China.’
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