(Bloomberg) -- U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it could no longer be “business as usual” with China when the coronavirus pandemic is over, the latest sign of hardening attitudes toward Beijing as the crisis drags on.
“There absolutely needs to be a very, very deep dive after the event review of the lessons, including of the outbreak of the virus,” Raab said at a press conference in London on Thursday. “I don’t think we can flinch from that at all.”
Raab, who is standing in for Boris Johnson as the prime minister recovers from Covid-19, said the U.K. has seen good cooperation from China, both in terms of the repatriation of British nationals from Wuhan and in terms of medical supplies during the pandemic. But he said there were “hard questions” to be answered about how it started.
“There’s no doubt we can’t have business as usual after this crisis, and we’ll have to ask the hard questions about how it came about and how it could have been stopped earlier,’ Raab said.
A growing number of senior members of Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party have called for a reset of relations with China because of its handling of the pandemic.
William Hague, a former Tory leader and foreign secretary who now sits in the House of Lords, said Wednesday the U.K. cannot be dependent on China as it has demonstrated it does not “play by our rules.”
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