Get tough on China, Joe: PM Liz Truss set to urge the US President to stand with Britain against Beijing’s threat to ‘freedom and democracy around the world’ at UN meeting
- Liz Truss will urge President Joe Biden to stand firm with her on the world stage
- The issue raised is China’s threat to ‘freedom and democracy around the world’
- They will meet in New York on Wednesday at the UN General Assembly
- Ms Truss has been a persistent critic of China’s record on human rights
Liz Truss will announce her debut on the world stage this week by urging US President Joe Biden to stand firm with her against China’s threat to ‘freedom and democracy around the world’.
The Prime Minister is expected to raise the issue of Beijing’s menace when she flies to New York to meet Mr Biden on Wednesday at the UN General Assembly.
Ms Truss’s first visit to America since entering No 10 follows a summer of tensions over post-Brexit trade negotiations and the UK threat to rewrite the Northern Ireland Protocol, which requires extra customs checks on goods moving from Britain to Northern Ireland, against the wishes of the EU and Washington.
It had led to sometimes disparaging comparisons with Margaret Thatcher and headlines in US news- papers such as ‘Who is Liz Truss?’.
Liz Truss will announce her debut on the world stage this week by urging US President Joe Biden to stand firm with her against China’s threat to ‘freedom and democracy around the world’
But the Prime Minister’s composure in the period of mourning for the Queen and tough talking on China has helped to change perceptions across the Atlantic, with former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, declaring her a worthy successor to Lady Thatcher.
Ms Truss has been a persistent critic of China’s record on human rights, espionage and economic imperialism during her career, making political capital out of it in the Tory leadership race by accusing her rival Rishi Sunak of being soft on Beijing as Chancellor.
Last night, against the backdrop of a row over inviting China to the Queen’s funeral, a UK Government source said Ms Truss would warn Mr Biden that Beijing presented a greater threat to the West than Vladimir Putin’s Russia. The source said: ‘Russia has demonstrated it’s an acute, active threat to Western stability and prosperity, but Liz believes China represents the most serious long-term threat to our values and way of life.
‘At the UN this week expect her to say we need to learn the lessons from Ukraine and show Beijing that we will stand up for freedom and democracy around the world.’
The Prime Minister is expected to raise the issue of Beijing’s menace when she flies to New York to meet Mr Biden on Wednesday at the UN General Assembly
Ms Truss will fly to the US after the funeral for a two-day meeting at the UN in New York, seeing Mr Biden for official talks on Wednesday.
She will also make a major speech to the UN about ‘Global Britain’ before returning to the UK in the early hours of Thursday.
Last night, a senior diplomatic source said: ‘Discussions during the funeral and events surrounding it will focus solely on the Queen and her legacy. Once she gets to New York it is all business.
‘The President is meeting Japanese and Korean leaders for 30 minutes but she will get much longer. Topics under discussion include Ukraine, US-UK trade relations, China, Russia and the special relationship between the US and the UK.’
Former Ambassador Bolton said: ‘An assertive Ms Truss could be a force multiplier for the US. (She has) spoken about ensuring that Putin ‘loses in Ukraine’ and suffers a ‘strategic defeat’.
‘By contrast, Mr Biden and his more timid advisers appear to be dragged along by Congress. As Ms Truss is freed from EU parochialism she appears up to confronting China’s aspirations for Indo-Pacific and then global hegemony.
‘Margaret Thatcher’s 1979 election as Prime Minister foreshadowed Ronald Reagan’s election as President. We can only hope for a reprise, and the sooner the better.’
In an article before the Queen’s death, US website Politico lauded ‘the next Queen Liz’, dubbing her ‘a modern Maggie Thatcher’.
Ms Truss will fly to the US after the funeral for a two-day meeting at the UN in New York, seeing Mr Biden for official talks on Wednesday
US news networks featured prominently Ms Truss’s speech on the death of the Queen, helping to mould perceptions of her.
A source said: ‘Everyone loved Boris Johnson because he was such a bumbling Brit. But no one here knew what to make of Truss. What we have seen in the past few days has put paid to her critics. She has been thrust on to the world stage and not been found wanting.
‘We are expecting her to wow America and are planning coverage accordingly. We will broadcast her speech live and are preparing packages about her background, who she is, her beliefs.
‘This is her big chance to shine on a global stage. These first two weeks may be the most influential of her time in office, particularly where Americans are concerned.’
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