Britain must go beyond commercial ties in China: Foreign Secretary

foreignLondon, (IANS) UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that the nation’s approach in China and East Asia must go beyond the quest for exports or commercial contracts, media reports said.

“It is right that we should make a distinctive approach to policy-making as regards China and East Asia,” Xinhua news agency quoted Johnson as saying.

In the first major foreign policy speech since his appointment, Johnson said UK should be realistic enough to accept that the international order needs to change, stressing that it was one of the first Western countries to join the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Johnson also called on all members of NATO to spend 2 per cent of their GDP on defence and backed US President-elect Donald Trump’s criticism of the contribution other countries make to the alliance.

“It cannot be justified that America accounts for about 70 per cent of the alliance’s defence spending while the other 27 countries manage only 30 per cent between them,” Johnson said.

Regarding Britain’s exit from the European Union, he said Britain will continue to work on security of Europe.

“Now is the time to build a new and productive relationship (with the EU), based on friendship and free trade, where we continue to work on things that matter to all of us in Europe,” Johnson said.

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