LONDON Reuters - British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warned China that failure to play by global rules would cut short its rise as a superpower, and said the West should ensure that Taiwan can defend itself.
Truss said moves to isolate Russia from the world economy in response to the invasion of Ukraine proved that market access to democratic countries was no longer a given, and that is why she renewed her call to boost NATO.
Countries must play by the rules. And that includes China, Truss said in a speech at Mansion House in London.
Britain, the world's sixth-largest economy, is dwarfed economically and militarily by China, but believes that it can help persuade Beijing to play by soft power and strategic alliances to the rules of a new, more dynamic international system.
The economic and military rise of China over the past 40 years is considered one of the most significant geopolitical events of recent times, along with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, which ended the Cold War.
Truss said its rise was not unavoidable.
They will not rise if they do not play by the rules. The Group of Seven represent about half of the global economy. She said that we have choices.
We have shown Russia the kind of choices we're prepared to make when international rules are violated. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said this month that China should persuade Russia to end the war in Ukraine or face a loss of standing in the world.
Beijing will defend the rights of Chinese individuals and companies if it links the Ukraine war to its relations with Moscow.
Truss said NATO needed to have a global outlook that extended to democracies outside its membership, citing Taiwan as an example.
She said that we need to protect the Pacific, in order to prevent threats in the Indo-Pacific, working with allies like Japan and Australia.
We need to make sure that democracies like Taiwan are able to defend themselves. China believes that Taiwan is one of the most sensitive and important issues in its relations with the West, because of the fact that it views it as a breakaway province to be brought back to the fold.
In 2015, George Osborne, Britain's finance minister, predicted a golden era in Chinese-British relations. But ties have frayed over issues such as Beijing's security crackdown on former British colony Hong Kong and security concerns around Chinese investment in Britain.