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Boris Johnson launches foreign policy review with Indo-Pacific tilt, confirms visit to India in April | India News – Times of India

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LONDON: UK prime minister Boris Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons on Tuesday that the UK going forward will “engage more deeply in the Indo-Pacific”. He also confirmed that he will visit India in April.
Launching the UK’s Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, which sets out the UK’s vision of its role in the world over the next decade, Johnson singled out India for a mention, describing India as “the world’s biggest democracy”. he said the purpose of his trip was to “strengthen friendship with India”.
The review states that the UK will agree an Enhanced Trade Partnership with India as a stepping stone towards a comprehensive trade deal, and that it will also join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and Asean as a Dialogue Partner.
“In the decade ahead, the UK will deepen our engagement in the Indo-Pacific, establishing a greater and more persistent presence than any other European country. The region is already critical to our economy and security; is a focal point for the negotiation of international laws, rules and norms; and will become more important to UK prosperity over the next decade,” the review states.
“We will pursue deeper engagement in the Indo-Pacific in support of shared prosperity and regional stability, with stronger diplomatic and trading ties. This approach recognises the importance of powers in the region such as China, India and Japan.”
In his speech, Johnson said, “There is no question that China will pose a great challenge for an open society such as ours. But we will also work with China where that is consistent with our values and interests, including building a stronger and positive economic relationship and in addressing climate change.”
In 2021 the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, one of the two largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy, will lead a British and allied task group to the Indo-Pacific on the UK’s most ambitious global deployment for two decades, exercising with Britain’s allies and partners along the way.
“The UK-India relationship is already strong, but over the next ten years we seek transformation. India — as the largest democracy in the world — is an international actor of growing importance. Our vision is for re-energised trade and investment, rooted in science and technology and supporting levelling up in the UK and India alike; enhanced defence cooperation that brings a more secure Indian Ocean Region; and UK-India leadership to tackle global challenges like climate change, clean energy and global health,” the review states.
The United States will remain the UK’s most important strategic ally and Britain is deeply committed to multilateralism and strengthening global bodies, such as WHO, it states.
“The significant impact of China’s military modernisation and growing international assertiveness within the Indo-Pacific region and beyond will pose an increasing risk to UK interests,” the review states. “Opportunistic states will increasingly seek strategic advantage through exploiting and undermining democratic systems and open economies.”
The review also highlights threats to the international order from Russia, North Korea and Iran, as well as from Big Tech, and points out that disinformation is being used against countries by non-state actors who are sometimes used as proxies by states.
But Britain would act as a force for good in the Indo-Pacific region, promoting open societies, a strong rule of law, media freedoms and the respect for human rights, it states.
“Global Britain is not a reflection of old obligations, still less a vainglorious gesture, but a necessity for the safety and prosperity of the British people in the decades ahead,” Johnson said.
“We must show that liberal democracy and free markets remain the best model for the social and economic advancement of humankind. China’s increasing power and international assertiveness is likely to be the most significant geopolitical factor of the 2020s,” the review said.

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