British Foreign Secretary Truss lays bare of post-colonial nostalgia

British Foreign Secretary Truss lays bare of post-colonial nostalgia

The United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Liz Truss spoke about Russia and China during a recent London event.

The speech tried to frame global politics as a zero-sum ideological struggle. Truss said that the UK and NATO should be involved in the question of Taiwan.

Since the departure of Britain in the EU, British foreign policy has been premised on an effective delusion - that is, the nostalgia of a long-gone era when Britannia ruled the waves with a global empire, which allowed it to impose its will on others.

China is no stranger to that legacy. With the Opium Wars of the mid 19th century, Britain opened what Chinese people understand as a century of humiliation when European powers learned they could use their growing military might to force political and economic concessions on a declining Qing Dynasty in 1644 -- 1911 Truss clearly believes that London is capable of doing the same to China and sounds hungry for confrontation with Beijing.

But none of this fiery rhetoric has any basis in reality. The world has changed and circumstances are no longer favorable for the UK.

Britain's withdrawal from the European Union was a big mistake and has had a huge impact on the economy across the board. It has created supply and labor shortages, added to burgeoning inflation, and severely hurt services. This has been a result of the rising energy prices and shrinking standards of living.

After Brexit Britain's economic relationship with China is of critical importance, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made it clear that after Brexit.

The UK can't afford to distance itself from the largest consumer market and trading nation on Earth.

However, Johnson is struggling to influence ultra-hawks within the Conservative Party who are trying to mold Brexit into a broader ideological and civilizational struggle in the name of Anglophone exceptionalism.

Foreign Secretary Truss do not base Britain's economic and trade interests on empirical realities, but instead see these as an extension of identity politics and imperial nostalgia.

They argue that Britain should be primarily trading with the nations of the Anglosphere, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, as well as India, towards which Britain has post-colonial nostalgia, and not on the actual merits of what these countries can contribute to Britain.

According to House of Commons research, Britain s Free trade agreement with Australia will only increase GDP by 0.08 percent per year, which is a bizarre decision by the British government, while China, which has bilateral trade with Britain of 100 billion pounds $123 billion per year, is off limits.

If it is not clear already, Britain has a foreign policy that is purely based on nationalistic sentiment and imperial good feeling.

There is nothing more offensive to the Chinese than a Britain role-playing its imperial past and believing that it has the right to bring China to heel despite the deep interdependence and mutual self-interest of the Sino-British relationship.

China is the world's second largest economy with a GDP estimated at more than $17 trillion, while the UK is a stagnating country whose future prosperity will depend on access to its markets.

If Britain is to be truly global, as its government markets it as being, then the sensible choice is to step back from the brink, regain control of its foreign policy from the US, and engage with China on pragmatic, realistic and independent terms.

The author is a British political and international relations analyst.

The views do not necessarily reflect the views of China Daily.