Major foreign policy speech by the British-Indian leader since taking over at 10 Downing Street last week — The British-Indian leader reflected on his heritage and pledged to promote British values of freedom and openness around the globe.
He also promised to do things differently when it comes to China, which he described as a “systemic threat” to British values.
“Before I entered politics, I had invested in businesses all over the globe. Sunak said that the Indo-Pacific offers tremendous opportunities.
“By 2050 the Indo-Pacific will contribute more than half of global growth to Europe and North America combined. He stated that the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement, the CPTPP, is being signed. It will deliver a new FTA to India and pursue one with Indonesia.
“Like many other people, my grandparents arrived in the UK via East Africa and India and settled here. We have welcomed thousands of people from Ukraine, Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Hong Kong in recent years. He noted that we are a country that upholds our values and defends democracy through actions, not just words.”
Sunak stated that he wanted to “evolve” the UK’s approach to China. This was in response to a slogan used seven years ago by the Conservative Party-led government to describe bilateral relations between the UK and China.
Let’s be honest, the so-called “golden era” is gone, as well as the naive notion that trade would bring about social and political reform. We should not rely on Cold War rhetoric. He warned that China presents a systemic threat to our values, and it is growing more acute as it moves toward greater authoritarianism.”
Former chancellor, 42, admitted that the UK can’t ignore China’s “significance in world affairs”, something he noted that other major economies like the US, Canada and Australia also recognize.
“So we’ll all work together to manage the sharpening competition, diplomacy included. Sunak stated that much of this is about drastically improving our resilience, especially our economic security.
Sunak reiterated his pro-Brexit vision and ruled out any alignment to EU law. He instead urged cooperation on issues like illegal migration. As part of Europe’s collective resolve to preserve democratic values, he also pledged the UK to support Ukraine in its conflict against Russia.
Russia has been pushing the boundaries for years and now is challenging the UN Charter’s fundamental principles. China is actively competing for global influence by using all levers of state power. These challenges will require that we don’t resort to wishful or short-term thinking. We cannot rely on Cold War approaches or arguments, nor sentimentality about the past. He declared that we would make an evolutionary leap with our approach.”
Sunak confirmed that more details on the UK’s foreign policies outlook will be provided in an updated Integrated Review in the new year. This will also include closer collaboration with the Commonwealth.
“Under my leadership we will not choose the status quo. We will change the way things are done. We will change, guided by our unwavering belief in freedom, openness, and the rule law. We are confident that our interests will be protected in these times of competition and challenge… and that our values will prevail,” he said.
Annually, the Lord Mayor’s Banquet at Guildhall is a London event in which the UK prime minister addresses business leaders and international dignitaries about foreign policy.