SOAS University of London

SOAS academics contribute to House of Lords inquiry into the UK and China's security and trade relationship

13 September 2021

Yuka Kobayashi, Lecturer in China and International Politics and Steve Tsang, Director of the China Institute both contributed to the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee inquiry into the UK and China's security and trade relationship.

Yuka Kobayashi served as specialist advisor to the Committee throughout the inquiry and contributed to the Committee’s report, The UK and China's security and trade relationship: A strategic void. Professor Steve Tsang also provided evidence to the Committee’s evidence session in March 2021 and is quoted throughout the report. 

The report is published amidst growing tensions between the UK and China. The Committee urges the Government to publish a clear and consistent written strategy setting out its trade and security relationship with China.

Yuka Kobayashi said: 

"It has been a pleasure working alongside the Committee as Specialist Advisor on this very important issue. This report is timely since the UK's Integrated Review (March, 2021) has indicated a 'tilt' to the Indo-Pacific. Within this context, the UK's relationship with China is highly important and complex , particularly given the dynamics in trade and security areas. This Inquiry had a special focus on these aspects.

The COP26 is hosted by the UK in Glasgow in November — partnering with China is crucial for any meaningful response to Climate Change (see Kobayashi's recent BBC interview on topic), though tensions remain in negotiating a viable strategy for the UK relating to China in matters of trade and security."

Steve Tsang said: 

"In an era when China’s resurgence is catching the world’s attention and the UK is finding a new role after leaving the EU, it is critical that the UK has a clear strategy for engaging with China. The House of Lords report shows that despite the strong need for such a strategy, the government does not, as yet, have one. The release of this report is thus timely and important, as it brings attention to an important gap in the ‘global Britain’ policy."

Read the report.