The trip of British Chancellor Philip Hammond to China has been called off after some reports that a speech that the defence secretary of the United Kingdom made has angered the government of China.
Hammond was supposedly scheduled to hold trade discussions with some senior officials in Beijing during a brief visit next week, however, a spokesperson for the Treasury has noted: “No trip was ever announced or confirmed.”
In a speech, last Monday, Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, indicated that the United Kingdom intended to send an aircraft carrier to the Pacific and unconfirmed newspaper reports insisted that the government of China is not happy about it.
Williamson revealed that the HMS Queen Elizabeth would soon be deployed to the region, along with the Middle East and Mediterranean, as part of its maiden voyage.
Williamson also said that China was “developing its modern military capability and its commercial power.”
In an interview with BBC Radio 4, George Osborne, the former chancellor, said that it was difficult to figure out the policy of the United Kingdom imposed on China.
He stated: “You’ve got the defence secretary engaging in gunboat diplomacy of a quite old-fashioned kind.”
“At the same time, the chancellor of the exchequer and the foreign secretary are going around saying they want a close economic partnership with China.
He stated: “Ultimately it’s the responsibility of Theresa May to sort this out. At the moment it looks all at sea.”
Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom visited China for three days in 2018. She claimed that it would help to “intensify the golden era in UK-China relations.”
At the time, she said that she was “deepening co-operation with China on key global and economic issues” since she felt that it would play a “huge role” in future economic development.