UK PM Sunak: China poses a threat but must also engage with them

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak walks outside Number 10 Downing Street, in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday that China posed a threat to Britain but it was also right to have dialogue with Beijing over global challenges such as climate change and the war in Ukraine.

"I'm very clear that China poses a systemic challenge to both our values and our interests and it represents the single biggest state threat to our economic security and that's why it's right that we take the steps that are necessary to protect ourselves," he told Sky News on the sidelines of the G20.

Sunak also said he was hopeful he could meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping while at the summit in Indonesia.

"If we want to solve big global challenges like public health, Russia and Ukraine, fixing the global economy, or indeed climate change, it's important to have a dialogue and to engage with China as part of solving those challenges," Sunak said.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Farouq Suleiman, Editing by Alistair Smout)