• Britain wants to expand its influence among countries in the Indo-Pacific region to try to moderate China’s global dominance, a document laying out post-Brexit foreign and defence policy priorities said recently.
• The document sets out a planned increase of Britain’s nuclear warhead stockpile by more than 40% to weigh against evolving global security threats, and underlines the importance of strong ties with the U.S. while naming Russia as the top regional threat.
Involvement in the region:
• Britain’s biggest foreign and defence policy review since the end of the Cold War sets out how Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to be at the forefront of a reinvigorated, rules-based international order based on cooperation and free trade.
• Calling the Indo-Pacific “increasingly the geopolitical centre of the world”, the government highlighted a planned British aircraft carrier deployment to the region.
• China and the U.K. both benefit from bilateral trade and investment, but China also presents the biggest state-based threat to the U.K.’s economic security.
• Britain, the world’s sixth-largest economy, is dwarfed economically and militarily by China, but believes through soft power and strategic alliances it can help persuade Beijing to play by the rules of a new, more dynamic international system.
• Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said U.K.’s attempts to influence Beijing had been marginal so far, saying it was better acting “in concert with clusters of like-minded countries to have the maximum and moderating impact on China.”
Mains Paper 2: International Relations
Prelims level: Post-Brexit foreign policy
Mains level: Challenges for post-Brexit foreign policy in Indo-Pacific region