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The Future of UK-China Relations, Kerry Brown

Reviewed by Vasilis Trigkas

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Margaret Thatcher once confessed that she had learned to “defer to George H.W. Bush and not to stint the praise for the greater glory of England.” England got at least part of the glory as the Iron Lady’s efforts to spearhead liberty crushed the Iron Curtain. Britain and America emerged from the Cold War enamored in a special relationship with extraordinary mutual benefits from defense to trade to investments to shared values. If only it were that simple concerning Britain’s relationship with ascending China. It is that strategic riddle that Kerry Brown, a professor at King’s College London and a former diplomat with seasoned Beijing experience, evaluates in his latest book, The Future of UK-China Relations.

The evolution of Sino-British relations is double-protean, Brown argues. Britain has exited the European Union and is in need of drastic reformation of its foreign strategy toward China, while China’s increasing heft is drastically changing Britain’s global environment. Brown attempts to decompose this fluidity by breaking up strategic interaction into economic, diplomatic, and political parameters. In economics, the asymmetry between Britain and China will only widen, to the latter’s advantage. China is attracted to London’s financial efficiency, attracts British investors, and is

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