Anatole Pang is a former Conservative council candidate for Twickenham, and is resident in Beijing where he has worked for four years. He is currently an active member of Conservatives Abroad there.
In May of this year, Oliver Letwin came to Beijing on a crypto-ministerial visit during a period of frosty relations following the most recent Dalai Lama incident.
Amongst the items Mr Letwin had in his bag marked “leverage” was a reform of the visa system which has subsequently not been given as much attention as it might perhaps warrant, allowing in particular business visitors easier access to Britain going forward – a key element in encouraging Chinese investment. This gesture was noteworthy because it could be interpreted as the beginnings of something I have been calling for on this blog for some time – a China policy.
Let us not beat about the bush: whether we like it or not, China is not just an emerging power but rather one which in many ways has already arrived. It is, in this day in age, as relevant for us to have a China policy as it is a Middle East or Russia policy.