Britain’s hardening stance on China

Featured in The Economist


China’s response to Britain’s new stance has so far been limited to rhetoric. cgtn said Ofcom had been “manipulated by extreme right-wing organisations and anti-China forces”; the Hong Kong visa offer was denounced as unwanted colonial meddling. But things may change, and British companies may suffer high-profile sanctions similar to those imposed by China on Australia, reckons Charles Parton, a former British diplomat and senior associate fellow of the Royal United Services Institute. AstraZeneca, Jaguar Land Rover and hsbc have been floated as possible targets in the Chinese press. And after cgtn’s closure, life may get trickier for bbc journalists in China. Mr Parton says China will bide its time: “I think we’re going to get the Australia treatment, but they serve their revenge a lot colder than you think.”