UK’s Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Friday played down recent overtures to India made by Prime Minister Theresa May by recalling that she spoke about the rise of India and China in a speech this year in the United States in “alarmist terms”.
A Labour government under his leadership after the June 8 election would not see India in those terms, he said in a major foreign policy speech at Chatham House that reiterated his views against war and promised a less gushing approach to US President Donald Trump.
Corbyn said: “When Theresa May addressed a Republican Party conference in Philadelphia in January, she spoke in alarmist terms about the rise of China and India and of the danger of the West being eclipsed. She said America and Britain had to ‘stand strong’ together and use their military might to protect their interests.
“This is the sort of language that led to calamity in Iraq and Libya and all the other disastrous wars that stole the post-Cold War promise of a new world order. I do not see India and China in those terms.”
A leaked draft of Labour’s manifesto this week suggested that the party will push populist promises such as scrapping £9,000 per year as university tuition fees for UK students and re-nationalising railways and posts.
Referring to the widely publishing photograph of Trump holding May’s hand in the White House during her visit in January, Corbyn said: “Britain deserves better than simply outsourcing our country’s security and prosperity to the whims of the Trump White House. So no more hand holding with Donald Trump.
“A Labour government will conduct a robust and independent foreign policy — made in Britain. A Labour government would seek to work for peace and security with all the other permanent members of the United Nations security council – the US, China, Russia and France. And with other countries with a major role to play such as India, South Africa, Brazil and Germany.”
Reaffirming commitment to the United Nations, Corbyn said his government’s foreign policy would be driven by human rights and social justice. It would immediately halt arms sale to Saudi Arabia and create a Minister for Peace to work across the ministry of defence and the foreign office.