Having failed to beat the EU to the Indo-Pacific, and with US–EU relations less than ideal ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration this month, the UK could carve out a niche in Asia by aligning with US policy.
It has become commonplace to suggest that British people today would not accept the levels of casualties suffered on the Western Front during the First World War. In Afghanistan the loss of 454 soldiers caused deep public unease. Yet already the UK has lost over 80,000 people to coronavirus and people have become accustomed to the tragic daily toll.
As the UK formulates its post-Brexit relationship with China, one key policy question is how to develop the bilateral commercial relationship most effectively. This requires not just an understanding of the business opportunities, but also of the political and foreign policy backdrop to UK–China relations.