The government of the People’s Republic of China has cancelled a meeting that had been scheduled between Vice Prime Minister ‎Hu Chunhua (see photo) and the Finance Minister, Philip Hammond.‎

In an address made at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), the UK Minister of Defence, Gavin Williamson, recently threatened to send an aircraft carrier to the China Sea to make Peking “pay dearly” for “its aggressive conduct” [1]. ‎

The cancellation of the meeting with the Finance Minister deprives the UK of a trade agreement which would have given it access to a market worth more than 10 billion pounds [2].‎

The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, distanced herself from the declarations of her Defense Minister and made it clear that the British airplane carrier would not be travelling to Asia until 2021 and that its journey would first need to be approved by whoever was the UK Prime Minister at the time. ‎

Anoosha Boralessa

[1Gavin Williamson at RUSI”, by Gavin Williamson, Voltaire Network, 11 February 2019.