China’s increasing influence in the Commonwealth of Nations

Think tank: Civitas

Author(s): Robert Clark

February 18, 2023

This report from UK think tank Civitas looks at China and a triad of trade, diplomacy, and military relations.

The UK has a unique post-Brexit opportunity to re-engage with its Commonwealth partners, forge new and exciting trading relationships – and where it has already done so, to build and capitalise on these with new security agreements which ensure not just the UK’s security but those of its partners, in a long-term, transparent and non-authoritarian manner. Ideologically, the deconstruction of the Commonwealth as an international body steeped in liberal values, by long-term and targeted malign Chinese influence from within, is of central importance to the Chinese Communist Party’s long-term strategic agenda of circumnavigating and ultimately replacing the liberal rules-based international order. The Commonwealth must be shown an alternative vision to China’s debt diplomacy, export dumping, and revisionist security agenda to re-strengthen the bonds, values and goals, which have underpinned the largest liberal international organisation in the world for more than half a century.