Russia is a top security challenge for the United Kingdom; London will build more nuclear weapons and will expand its presence in the high-tech kingdoms of cyberspace and space, Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday in an extensive review of British foreign and military policy.
To achieve its military goals, the U.K. government wants to increase defense spending by $33.3 billion (£24 billion) during the next four years, a large surge in the £42.2 billion it spent in 2019-2020. Furthermore, the government planned to invest tens of billions of pounds in investment in other areas, including £15 billion for research and development in science and technology, over £17 billion to combat climate change, promote biodiversity, and £13 billion in the fight against COVID-19.
The document endorses the economic and defense partnerships of the United Kingdom with the United States as its most important globally, and it makes a heavy commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance but vowed to expand U.K.’s role globally, identifying a tilt toward the Indo-Pacific in the coming ten years. From that region, the document calls out challenges passed by China.
China will Pose a Great Challenge to an Open Society
The review says that the international assertiveness and increasing power of China is possibly the most significant geopolitical factor of the 2020s. In addition, the review adds that describing Beijing as the biggest state-based risk to Britain’s economic security. Speaking in parliament, the prime minister criticized China for the treatment of democracy advocates in Hong Kong and its mass detention of Uyghurs in Xinjiang province. Further, he said that the U.K. must work with China to solve worldwide issues.
Johnson says that it is questionless that China will pose a huge challenge to an open society. But he also shows his intentions to work with China, which is consistent with the interests and values, including a positive and strong economic relationship and fighting climate change. With the title “Global Britain in a Competitive Age,” the hundred and sixteen reports also criticize Russia. The report says that Russia will remain the most critical direct threat to Britain.
Russia is the most serious threat in the region, and his administration will work with NATO forces to ensure a mutual Western response, combining intelligence, military, and diplomatic efforts. Britain will increase its total nuclear warhead to around 260, a significant increase from a previously announced aim of 180. Furthermore, the U.K. Navy will keep four nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines for launching those nuclear warheads, ensuring that at least one submarine stays alert on duty.