Foreign aid: Tobias Ellwood warns of 'new cold war' with China

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Tory MP and Chair of the Defence Committee Tobias Ellwood highlighted the many issues that follow from reducing foreign aid budgets in the UK. While speaking on GB News, he said that cutting the foreign aid budget weakens the UK’s international presence and “small power capabilities”. He warned that this gives China an opportunity to replace the UK in these areas and grow in global influence.

He also claimed the world was growing more dangerous and the UK needed to be prepared for a new cold war with China.

Mr Ellwood said: “The world is becoming increasingly more dangerous and more complex.

“There very much a 1930s feel to the world right now.

“Threats are increasing and diversifying, authoritarianism is rising and extremism hasn’t gone away despite our success in the Middle East.

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“We have got an ever assertive China and Russia and climate change is going to present a new host of challenges.

“We need to make sure that we have the soft power, half power to deal with what is coming over the horizon.

“I think this has been a retrograde step.”

Mr Ellwood continued to condemn the decision to cut the UK’s foreign aid budget.

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He insisted the UK would regularly use this “soft power” to show solidarity with countries around the world.

He also warned that if the UK did not maintain its reputation as a global and integral influencer of the world, China would fill this void.

He said: “There is a consequence of when we reduce these programs.

“Firstly from an operational standpoint, when you close medical centres and so forth, people will be affected.

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“Fewer girls will be educated, more people will grow hungry because we are pulling out of places like Yemen, Libya, and Syria, more girls and boys will become slaves.

“On the bigger picture, when we depart we leave a vacuum that is often filled by China.

“I make it really clear, I think there is actually a new cold war developing, a soft power cold war.

“China is advancing its one belt, one road strategies, its gifting of 5G, and the sharing of technologies as well to further its own influence across the world.

“The West is actually shrinking, our soft power absolutely counts.

“When we retreat from Africa we are replaced by China and to some degree Russia as well.”

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