David Cameron’s return to frontline politics is concerning as the Foreign Secretary touted a “golden age” in Anglo-Chinese relations as Prime Minister, an expert has warned.
Foreign policy hawk Gordon Chang argued Lord Cameron could look to pivot the UK towards a more friendly relationship with Beijing.
The ex-Prime Minister adopted a relatively Sinophile position during his six-years in Downing Street.
Cameron welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping to Britain and strengthened trade ties between the two nations.
WATCH NOW: Gordon Chang discusses Lord Cameron’s return to Cabinet
A significant development came following Xi’s visit when the UK allowed Chinese involvement in Britain’s civil nuclear programme.
China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), a state-owned energy group, subsequently agreed to invest £6bn in Hinkley Point C.
Chang, a senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, told GB News: “Whenever David Cameron opens his mouth, I am deeply, deeply concerned.
“I don’t know that much about how UK politics works and I hope that the way it works is that people who are more sensible [on China] will be able to contain him.
China’s President Xi Jinping and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron attend a joint press conference in 10 Downing Street on October 21, 2015
“But I am afraid that as Foreign Secretary he will have great influence and that he will act as Foreign Secretary like he did as Prime Minister.”
Since leaving Number 10, Cameron continued to forge close ties with China.
He led a $1billion UK-China investment fund which looked to boost British involvement in Beijing’s belt and road initiative projects.
The fund struggled in its ambitions as Anglo-Chinese relations soured over the UK’s criticism of the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.
Prime Minister David Cameron delivers his keynote speech to delegates on the last day of the annual Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central on October 2, 2013
Rishi Sunak, who was seen as an up-and-coming star when Cameron was in Downing Street, disagrees with his centrist predecessor on a number of major policy areas, including Brexit.
Cameron conceded he “disagreed with some individual decisions” but believes Sunak is a “strong and capable Prime Minister” following his return to Cabinet.
The pair disagreed on Sunak’s HS2 announcement at Tory Party conference.
Sunak also seemingly distanced himself from Cameron by declaring himself as the “change candidate”.
The Prime Minister has also adopted a hardline stance on Anglo-Chinese relations last year.
Sunak declared Cameron’s golden era was “over” as the UK Government stepped in to buy out CGN’s stake in Sizewell.
A number of high-profile Tory MPs, including ex-leader Sir Iain Duncan-Smith, also speak out against Beijing as members of the hawkish China Research Group.
Cameron, who described his Cabinet return as “not usual”, became the first peer to serve as Foreign Secretary since Lord Carrington.
The last ex-Prime Minister to return to Cabinet after leaving Downing Street was Alec Douglas-Home.