The Future of UK-China Relations: The Search for a New Model

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


The UK has had one of the longest and most multifaceted relationships with China of any western industrialized nation. Stretching back over two hundred years, this relationship is laden with meaning and is representative of the ways in which a modernizing China has tried to relate to a modernized country. Britain’s first sustained attempt to build ties with the Qing imperial court in the eighteenth century was focused primarily on trade. Over the next 150 years, Britain was at the forefront of some of the most infamous instances of Chinese encounters with the outside world, from the Opium Wars, the sacking of the Summer Palace, and the reparations for the Boxer rebellion of 1900 to the maintenance of Hong Kong as a colony. Since the return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1997, policies of engagement have replaced those of confrontation and as China’s economy has eclipsed that of the UK, the transformation of that relationship has become imperative for the UK.

At a time when China’s role in the world is becoming the focus of international business strategy and Brexit is pushing the UK to look to the rest of the world for trade and investment, Kerry Brown assesses the potential for a new “golden age” of UK–China relations and what the UK needs to understand about China before embarking on such a venture
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAgenda Publishing
Number of pages192
ISBN (Print) 9781788211574
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


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