As the European Union hopes for a new chapter in relations with the US, the UK is seeking common ground that might ensure good relations with Washington over the next four years, Politico reported citing a number of British officials. According to the news outlet, a joint front against some of the Chinese policies deemed malign by some western nations might just be that common ground.
Members of the Biden administration have already warned that some aspects of US policy towards China will not depart with President Trump – namely, Washington still plans to confront Beijing on some trade issues. According to the UK officials cited by Politico, London plans to cooperate with the White House on that and other issues, trying to distinguish itself from the EU. The latter seemingly plans to maintain good ties with China and recently struck a new investment agreement with Beijing – to the great displeasure of the incoming US administration, according to its National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.
The UK and US might cooperate in countering Chinese "economic, military, and diplomatic influence", an anonymous UK official, cited by Politico, said.
"I don't think there will be a huge change to the actual strategic policy that the US has toward China […] We are naturally the closest partner of the US on that kind of issue", the British official added.
Several other UK officials cited by the outlet named the promotion of democratic values and defence as potential areas of cooperation. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson added the fight against COVID-19 and climate change to that list in his address ahead of Biden's inauguration.
Some of the Democrat's Cabinet appointees have already signalled their intent to confront Beijing on a number of issues. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen said the Biden administration will crack down on any "abusive, unfair, and illegal [trade] practices" should they be exercised by Beijing. She also said the US would remain vigilant in terms of monitoring China's attempts at stealing its "trade secrets" and trying to acquire "critical technology".
Separately, Biden's appointee for Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said the new administration would maintain the stance set under President Donald Trump and would continue to accuse Beijing of committing "genocide" against the Uyghur Muslims living in the Xinjiang region of China. Beijing has repeatedly and vehemently denied these allegations and denounced Washington's attempts to meddle in its domestic affairs.