Foreign attempts to besiege China will fail, Chinese envoy to UK says

·2-min read

LONDON (Reuters) - Foreign attempts to contain or besiege China will always fail so major powers should avoid colonial thinking that could lead to a confrontation with the world's second largest economy, China's ambassador to London said on Tuesday.

China has repeatedly denounced a new Indo-Pacific security alliance between the United States, Britain and Australia that will provide Canberra with the technology and capability to deploy nuclear-powered submarines.

Ambassador Zheng Zeguang, speaking at a ceremony to celebrate the 72th anniversary of the People's Republic, said the Communist Party had thrown off foreign oppressors and rebuilt China by lifting over 770 million people out of poverty over half a century.

"Attempts to contain or besiege China have never succeeded in the past and will always be an empty dream in the future," Zheng said. "No one can stop the Chinese people from making further progress."

He suggested big powers rejected "colonial mentality" and "other moves that lead to division or confrontation."

The United States and its allies are looking for ways to push back against China's growing power and influence, particularly its military buildup, pressure on Taiwan and deployments in the contested South China Sea.

Zheng said Britain should work on improving relations with Beijing after "some setbacks" in recent months.

Britain has repeatedly criticised China over President Xi Jinping's treatment of Hong Kong and Xinjiang, and Zheng was banned from attending an event at the British parliament earlier this month.

Zheng said socialism and the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) were crucial for the development of China.

"Without the CPC there would not have a new China," Zheng said. "Socialism is the only way to save China and socialism with Chinese characteristics is the only way to develop China."

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Costas Pitas)

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