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Britain needs to decide what it wants from China

Mixed signals from London hinder stronger economic ties with Beijing

| China
China is an indispensable partner if a post-Brexit Britain is to succeed.   © Reuters

British finance minister Philip Hammond's canceled trip to Beijing this week highlights the difficult trade-offs the U.K. faces in its relationship with China.

For the Chinese government, Hammond's efforts to boost economic ties cannot happily coexist with Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson's remarks about sending an aircraft carrier to the Pacific and "oppos[ing] those who flout international law."

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