Theresa May visit to China: trade deals must not be at expense of humanitarian values – ODI expert available

30 January 2018

Barnaby Willitts-King, Senior Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute, is available to comment on China’s flagship trillion dollar ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, the potential instability this trade initiative may cause and outline how the Prime Minister can use this visit to secure her vision of a ‘global Britain’.

Mr Willitts-King said: ‘As the Prime Minister heads to China to promote her vision of a “global Britain”, it is crucial that the signing of any trade deal is not at the expense of the UK’s humanitarian values.

‘While the UK could benefit from the trillion-dollar “One Belt, One Road” initiative, it must work with China to consider the humanitarian, social and environmental challenges along the Belt and Road to avoid further disruption in already turbulent regions.

‘New ODI research shows that contrary to popular perceptions, China is as interested in being a responsible humanitarian power as it is in securing economic prosperity. The Prime Minister should not shy away from discussing the potential instability this trade initiative may cause. She should leverage the opportunity and offer the UK’s humanitarian expertise and experience in operating in fragile countries.’

ENDS

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact James Rush on [email protected] / +44 (0)7808 791265 or Brenda Yu on [email protected]