The UK’s strategic aims in the Indo-Pacific were the focus of an Asia House briefing with Jenny Bates, Director General for Indo-Pacific at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) today (20 July).
Speaking with Asia House Corporate Members, Bates shared some of the thinking around Whitehall’s recent Integrated Review and the role the UK envisages playing in the region through its ‘Indo-Pacific tilt’. In a wide-ranging briefing, the Director General also discussed the UK’s engagement with key markets including China, India and ASEAN, as well as the COP26 agenda.
Asia House Chief Executive Michael Lawrence, chairing the briefing, brought Corporate Members from around the world into the discussion, with Bates taking a range of questions. The Director General was asked about the UK’s position on China and the prospect of an alternative to the Belt and Road Initiative; the plans to deepen trade with India; and how the UK views ASEAN’s role in the region. Bates was also asked about decarbonisation efforts in the Indo-Pacific; the outlook for COVID recovery in the region; and UK interest in the RCEP agreement.
The overall aims of the UK’s Indo-Pacific strategy and the risks to achieving them were also discussed.
Convened exclusively for Asia House Corporate Members, the briefing offered a chance to hear the latest thinking from a key official shaping UK foreign policy in Asia.
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