STORY: In his first major foreign policy speech, Sunak said Britain's approach to China needed to evolve and Beijing was "consciously competing for global influence using all the levers of state power".
"Let’s be clear, the so-called 'golden era' is over, along with the naive idea that trade would lead to social and political reform," Sunak said in London's financial district, a reference to former finance minister George Osborne's description of Sino-British ties in 2015.
"We recognize China poses a systemic challenge to our values and interests, a challenge that grows more acute as it moves towards even greater authoritarianism," he said, referring to the BBC statement that one of its journalists had been assaulted by Chinese police.
Sunak said Britain needed to take the same long-term approach as its adversaries and competitors such as Russia and China.
"In the face of these challenges, short-termism or wishful thinking will not suffice. We can’t depend on Cold War arguments or approaches, or mere sentimentality about the past," he said.