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William Hague tells @Policy_Exchange Western policy must change; China isn't going to play by our rules and therefore west can't be dependent on China, however, no global problem can be solved without China.
Hague: So there must be a framework of cooperation while being strategically independent. Huawei is an eg of where UK has been 'caught in a very difficult position' by not being independent.
Hague says UK should be investing in battery technology but atm it is China buying up all the relevant resources and companies.
Ms @Julie_C_Smith stresses there is huge bipartisan consensus in US politics on the Huawei issue. UK seems to think it's an issue that only Trump cares about but this is not correct. Dems + Republicans want a western solution.
- @Julie_C_Smith says other democratic nations, esp Japan, India and Australia - must be involved to set the norms, particularly when it comes to technology.
Fmr Aust FM @AlexanderDowner says coronavirus is a 'huge blow' to China's prestige 'among the general public.' Ordinary people feel very strongly about this - the huge damage that's been done to us all by China.
Downer says the risk is that the existing tensions, eg Huawei and South China Sea are now likely to rise because the publics of our countries are going to blame China. 'We need to think about what we are going to do about this.'
Downer - there has to be an international investigation into the cause. We need to investigate and understand what happened. We can't leave it to @WHO - it has problem with credibility. This needs to be managed at a broader level - poss UNSC.
Downer - when SARS erupted, that came from China, so we don't want to see this happening anymore, there needs to be a proper international approach, working with the Chinese.
This reminds us we need to address our supply chains. ON battery tech yes but also for pharmaceuticals.
Downer - we have to reconsider the whole of our supply chains to make sure they are more secure.
Downer - we have to work with China but we have to make sure that we have a better and more coordinated approach (in the west) on how we manage China. We have to start putting that approach together.
- @StewartWood
2 lessons - we need more hard-headed approach on security.
* We have to stop being intimidated with anxiety about economic revenge from China.
* We must be really careful not to let that approach bleed into excessive hawkishness.
- @StewartWood
* I'd like to see the west use the WTO to complain about China rather than bypass it.
* We will need to help developing world which will be devastated by coronavirus partic. in Africa.
* We need to encourage new international infrastructure and engage with China
HR McMaster quotes @edwardlucas column in Times and says we need to end delusion about Chinese Communist Party. Echoes strong bipartisanship in US on this issue.
HR McMaster - China hasn't played by the rules but has doubled down and far from liberalising is perfecting internal police state and flexing more aggressively externally.
HR McMaster - 'this is an authoritarian dictatorship that is trying to extend and tighten its exclusive grip on power.'
HR McMaster - We have to recognise what is driving the party and not try and continue by this self-delusion that they are going to liberalise.
HR McMaster - China is co-opting - coercing on adopting their tech, co-opting poorer countries with debt traps. Their expectation is that we will adhere, aid and abet them.
HR McMaster - We will see intensified industrial espionage from China.
* Belt and Road - countries are going to be more vulnerable to CCP's debt traps and we have to be wary of that as well.
* We are also going to see more of their civilian/military fusion.
HR McMaster almost incredulous with disbelieving laughter on Huawei asking how anyone could let a company in that is acting as arm of Chinese govt.
He says west must recognise that this is a competition and that this going to take tremendous cooperation.
HR McMaster - I think what we are in is "a decoupling competition."
HR McMaster - unless we get more backbone ourselves we're going to remain at a disadvantage.
HR McMaster - we have to call China out on climate change. China and India could destroy the planet. (Responding to a question about Indian involvement in balancing China). We (west) engage in self-flagellation, we happily criticise ourselves before we do China.
HR McMaster - we have a strengthen ourselves, India ought to be a focal point - in helping India succeed.
Qstn from @MrHarryCole - what is our stick over China? William Hague, we don't have a stick. Can any of us see China agreeing to an investigation? Unlikely. China has tried to 'clumsily' claim that the US caused it. That's been seen through.
Hauge - we should be saying we need to cooperate more closely in the future. We have to be realistic about investigation. @AlexanderDowner - Western public suffering quite grievously. We need to put pressure on China. Partly due to the soft power.
- @AlexanderDowner We need to ram that message home to them 'in a pretty brutal, diplomatic sort of way' that their standards aren't up to what we expect in a trading nation. If they continue to try and cover-up the origin of this from Wuhan...Chinese prestige is at stake.
Good question from Juliet Samuel about China's mask-diplomacy aiding the rehabilitation of their reputation in Italy for eg. HR McMaster - this comes back to competition.
Chinese have tried to claim US, then Italy was the origin. CCP has set themselves up for sig. blow - back.
HR McMaster - competition doesn't foreclose co-operation. On @StewartWood 's fear this will lead to racism against Chinese people, HR McMaster says west should continue engaging with Chinese people, incl. welcoming them into our schools and universities.
HR McMaster says once the immediate public health crisis is over there will be blowback that China stopped internal travel but then allowed people from Wuhan to fly abroad and spread the disease to other countries.
- @Julie_C_Smith says US has been slow to respond. Esp with Italy (aid only sent on the weekend, well after China's) esp compared with response to Ebola.
- @StewartWood it is quite astonishing how LITTLE international co-operation on this. China has stepped in. But will it benefit in the long-run? But it's in competition over values and attracting talent and this will further weaken them.
The real elephant in the room here is Trump. No-one wants to say out loud that Trump has been incapable (unwilling) of leading any sort of global coalition. Trump might have internal foreign policy strengths but this (and UK Huawei) decision has exposed US decay on intl. stage.
HR McMaster - pandemics are an extension [of war] as well [as politics].
HR McMaster - because US has become so polarised, we don't talk about what we do together. For eg. US-funded @WHO ten times value of China despite WHO subverting on coronavirus.
HR McMaster on China's 'mask-diplomacy' - China has sent fake testing kits, not even faulty ones, just made up. West needs to help Taiwan as much as it can economically to ensure it can support itself and ensure China is deterred by denial.
Webinars are a bit painful innit.
- @StewartWood west needs to work out common regs/framework for the internet. Says British public and BBC are 'having a rebonding moment' during the lockdown.
- @AlexanderDowner says Boris Johnson has enormous standing in the world, partic. having had his own coronavirus experience. He backs Johnson proposing international investigation to the G7. He notes @realDonaldTrump has NOT proposed any investigation, so UK could work w. US.
- @AlexanderDowner does NOT back abandoning One China Policy as a retribution measure but says hard diplomacy is required, ideally through G7.
Okay, panel discussion and thread ends. Thanks @Policy_Exchange good talk.
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