British PM Sunak to outline approach towards Russia and China in key foreign policy speech

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is to set out a so-called “evolutionary” approach to countries including Russia and China on Monday, as he delivers his first major foreign policy speech since taking office.

“Our adversaries and competitors plan for the long term. In the face of these challenges, short-termism or wishful thinking will not suffice … So we will make an evolutionary leap in our approach,” Sunak is expected to say in his speech to diplomats and business leaders at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London, according to a government press release.

“This means being stronger in defending our values and the openness on which our prosperity depends. It means delivering a stronger economy at home – because it is the foundation of our strength abroad. And it means standing up to our competitors, not with grand rhetoric but with robust pragmatism.”

UK inflation has hit record highs recently amid political chaos and a cost-of-living crisis.

Sunak will also stress the importance of reinvigorating relationships in Europe following Brexit, as well as his plans to deepen ties in the Indo-Pacific region, the press release said.

The prime minister is also expected to reaffirm Britain’s commitment to Ukraine amid Russia’s war, saying the country will “stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

“We will maintain or increase our military aid next year. And we will provide new support for air defense, to protect the Ukrainian people and the critical infrastructure that they rely on,” he is expected to pledge.

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