Britain’s failed dialogue with China

A recent security crisis sparked by accusations of Chinese spying shows that the UK still struggles to set a clear path in its relationship with China.

Britain’s latest reds-under-the-bed panic represents a continuing failure to forge a coherent and more predictable relationship with China. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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The Palace of Westminster, that Gothic pile on the banks of London’s Thames River serving as the seat of the British Parliament, has experienced almost everything: plots to blow up a king, the murder of a prime minister, as well as being a venue of choice for gambling, and every possible – as well as quite a few improbable – sex scandals. Still, the Parliament faces a novel experience: a spy story.

It’s not Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple or Ian Fleming’s James Bond; the current plot is thin, consisting of a junior parliamentary researcher arrested on suspicion of spying for China. The young man denies all accusations and, almost half a year after his initial arrest, is yet to be formally charged.

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