Boris Johnson’s integrated review to test UK’s relations with China

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Boris Johnson’s government has set out what has been described as the most fundamental review of defence and foreign policies in half a century, with a broad sweep of announcements ranging from a tilt towards the Indo-Pacific, to cyber warfare, increasing the number of nuclear warheads and joining the new space race.

The running theme in the integrated review is the country’s post-Brexit future, with the claim that “global Britain” will shape a new world order, leaving behind an “outdated” international system.

This will mean reaching out afar. The government reaffirmed that it remains committed to Nato, but it is also seeking to build strategic and commercial alliances beyond Europe, especially in the Indo-Pacific region.

The prime minister will launch this new “east of Suez” policy during a much-heralded visit to India later this month. The keen interest in strengthening ties in the area has already been illustrated by the invitation to the G7 summit that was issued to India, Australia and South Korea after the UK assumed presidency of the group this year.

The G7 invitation is seen as part of Britain’s stated intention to “sit at the heart of a network of like-minded countries and flexible groupings, committed to protecting human rights and upholding global norms”.

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