Cameron invokes China during Washington lobbying mission, 'in move to cover own failure amid rising anxiety'
Published: Apr 10, 2024 10:56 PM
UK anti-China farce Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

UK anti-China farce Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron repeatedly mentioned China during his US capital lobbying trip aiming to unblock a $60 billion aid package for Ukraine held up in the US Congress. Chinese analysts said on Tuesday it is a malicious move Cameron is using to scapegoat China for his country's decision-making failures in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, signaling the UK's growing anxiety regarding the trajectory of the conflict. 

A $60 billion package of military aid is bogged down in the US House of Representatives as populist conservatives seek to block further funding for the two-year-old conflict and some mainstream Republicans demand concessions on border security before supporting the bill. 

Cameron made the remarks during and after a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the US State Department on Tuesday US local time and in an obvious bid to persuade the Congress to swiftly approve the aid. 

"We know it's right to send this very clear message to all those watching around the world, including China, that we stand by our allies, that we don't reward aggression, that we help those who are trying to fight it off. And we know it's right for our own security," the British foreign secretary said at the joint press conference with Blinken on Tuesday. 

"Cameron repeatedly mentioned China when he sought US support for aid to Ukraine in Washington. This serves as a scapegoat for his decision-making failures in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, while also using this issue to facilitate global geopolitical competition against China by the UK and US, undermining China's international influence. These malicious actions deserve caution," Li Haidong, a professor from the China Foreign Affairs University, said on Tuesday. 

Cameron's wording reflected the UK's increasingly evident anxiety regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict and its uncertain future trajectory, with a lack of confidence, Chinese observers said.

Cameron is attempting to continue the aid to Europe by involving the US to achieve a long-term goal of wearing down Russia. He is making efforts to persist, but whether he will succeed is now uncertain, as various signs indicate that he may lack the confidence. Therefore, as a medium-sized European country, the UK is now like a small calf trying to lead an elephant, folding the US into its plans, Li told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

Cameron is just the latest of numerous foreign government officials who have urged US lawmakers to act swiftly to approve the assistance amid increasing concern over the US role. Last week in Brussels, nearly all NATO member foreign ministers said the US contribution is essential, echoing comments by Biden, Blinken and other administration officials, the AP reported on Tuesday. 

It is also reported that Cameron met on Monday in Florida with former president Donald Trump, and said that the assistance is "vital for American and European security." But the US former president and presumptive Republican candidate is a critic of continued US support, and lawmakers aligned with him are holding up an aid package for Kiev in Congress.

A Tuesday report by the Guardian viewed Cameron's attempted persuasion of Trump to permit the US Congress to push through the military aid for Ukraine a failure as the British foreign secretary was not even granted a meeting with congressional speaker Mike Johnson, who could in theory put the package to a vote.

Chinese analysts viewed Cameron's mercy dash to South Florida as evidence of the UK's growing worries that due to the US domestic political change, the US may become less active in providing the supplemental budget.