Sunak claims China represents biggest security challenge to the world

British PM says G7 taking steps to prevent China ‘from using economic coercion to interfere in sovereign affairs of others’

China represents the world’s greatest challenge to security and prosperity, British prime minister Rishi Sunak has said, but that other leading economies should not seek to fully decouple from it.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday after a summit of Group of Seven (G7) nations in Hiroshima, Japan, he said: ”China poses the biggest challenge of our age to global security and prosperity. They are increasingly authoritarian at home and assertive abroad.”

Mr Sunak said Britain and other G7 countries would pursue a common approach to reduce the challenges posed by China.

“This is all about de-risking – not decoupling,” he said. “With the G7, we are taking steps to prevent China from using economic coercion to interfere in the sovereign affairs of others,” he added.


Last week, Mr Sunak’s predecessor as prime minister, Liz Truss, became the highest-profile British politician to visit Taiwan since Margaret Thatcher in the 1990s, where she said the West should not “appease and accommodate” China.

Tensions have risen as China has become increasingly assertive about the self-governed island, which Beijing claims as its own. China has never renounced the option of the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control.

Ms Truss represents a more hawkish wing of Mr Sunak’s Conservative Party that opposes his approach to China. The prime minister’s approach involves seeking to engage with the Chinese on areas such as trade and climate change while trying to limit perceived threats to national security.

Mr Sunak also said Britain would start training Ukrainian pilots this summer to support its air force in its war against Russia.

Joined by Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Mr Sunak said no one wanted peace more than the Ukrainian president, but that peace conditions should be based on Ukraine’s principles.

At the three-day summit, the G7 signalled to Russia their readiness to stand by Ukraine for the long term. – Reuters