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TSP Public Lecture by Charlie Parton, "UK relations with China," November 4th 12:30 PM (UK Time)

The University of Nottingham's Taiwan Studies Programme presents a Public Lecture by Charlie Parton, China Ink. Talk title: UK relations with China--upholding British interests in the face of the Chinese Communist Party's diplomacy

Thursday 4th November 2021 (12:30-15:00 PM UK Time)

E07 Monica Partridge Building, Hybrid Mode: Streamed online and speaker on campus

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Many assume that for a country to pursue its own interests and thereby go against the wishes of the CCP leads to heavy punishment. Australia is often cited as an example. The CCP, the United Front and certain vested interests in foreign countries build up this assumption. Yet those countries which historically have incurred Beijing’s displeasure have suffered far less than is generally believed. Overall even Australia’s trade has barely diminished in the past two years.

The UK is said to be vulnerable in six areas: exports, investment, service and the City of London, education, tourism and climate change (the withholding of Chinese cooperation). Yet a dispassionate look at all six areas suggests that the threat is small. Furthermore there are good reasons for not welcoming uncritically Chinese investment into the UK, as well as a need for caution in investing in China.

The conclusion to be drawn is that the UK should make its policy towards China with an eye towards its own security, values and economic interests, without allowing unfounded fear of the CCP to prejudice its approach.

Short Biography Charlie Parton spent 22 years of his 37 year diplomatic career working in or on China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In his final posting he was seconded to the EU Delegation in Beijing, where, as First Counsellor until late 2016, he focussed on Chinese politics and internal developments, and advised the EU and Member States on how China’s politics might affect their interests. He has also worked in Afghanistan, Cyprus, Libya and Mali. In 2017 he returned to Beijing for four months as Adviser to the British Embassy to cover the CCP’s 19th Congress.

He is a senior associate fellow of the Royal United Services Institute, an associate fellow of the Council on Geostrategy, and was a Specialist Adviser on China to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee for its 2018-9 China Inquiries. He runs his own advisory company on China, China Ink. He has published extensively in academic journals, many UK newspapers, the Spectator, Standpoint and appears regularly on the BBC, France 24, LBC and other media.

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