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The UK government is looking to develop its expertise on China and Mandarin language skills as Downing Street refreshed its international defence and foreign policy.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak’s government said that after the Integrated Review in 2021, authorities have taken a number of steps to increase knowledge of and expertise on China, which it is now seeking to further.

Funding to build expertise on China in 2024 to 2025 will be doubled and Mandarin language skills boosted in order for the UK to be able to “engage with and understand China, while protecting national security”.

The government says the UK has become “increasingly concerned” about the military, diplomatic and economic activity of the Chinese Communist Party in the last two years, with some politicians heaping pressure on universities to cut ties with the country.

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