The Big Ideas

Why the Anglosphere sees eye to eye on China

Financial Times

Gideon Rachman | Financial Times
Why the Anglosphere sees eye to eye on China
Why the Anglosphere sees eye to eye on China
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February 8, 2021
THE BIG IDEA | ‘Some of America’s European allies are very wary of what they fear will be a new cold war with China. By contrast, the US is getting more support from the UK, Australia and Canada.’

‘As a general rule, it is a good idea to be wary of people who bang on about the “Anglosphere”.'

  • ‘Now, however, the idea of an Anglosphere is taking on an unexpected contemporary relevance.’
  • ‘The trigger is the increasingly assertive behaviour of China, which is bringing together a group of English-speaking countries, all of whom have adopted more confrontational policies towards Beijing.’

‘The new US president has promised “extreme competition” with China.’

  • ‘The first phone call between Antony Blinken, US secretary of state and Yang Jiechi, his Chinese counterpart, was spiky.’

‘However, some of America’s European allies are very wary of what they fear will be a new cold war with China.’

  • ‘The EU shocked Biden’s team by signing a new investment deal with Beijing — ignoring pleas for consultation with the US. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, went out of her way in a recent speech to warn against anti-China sentiment dividing the world into blocs.’
  • ‘Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, has made similar statements.’

‘By contrast, the US is getting more support from the UK, Australia and Canada.’

  • ‘These nations have all seen their relations with Beijing deteriorate sharply over the past couple of years.’
  • ‘As a result, they are more inclined to take the American view that a rising China is a threat that must be countered.’

‘The Chinese government has noticed this emerging Anglosphere.’

  • ‘When the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK issued a joint statement about Hong Kong, China’s official response was ferocious.’

‘These countries form the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing group, which prompted Zhao Lijian, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, to comment:’

  • ‘ “No matter if they have five eyes or 10 eyes,if they dare to harm China’s sovereignty . . . they should beware of their eyes being poked and blinded.” ’

My Take

Once more the difference between Europe and the 'Anglosphere.' An enduring if sometimes fraught alliance among the English-speakers.