An “Economic Strategy of Denial” Toward Beijing in the Indo-Pacific

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An “Economic Strategy of Denial” Toward Beijing in the Indo-Pacific

25th October 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Western policymakers mistakenly assumed that the entry of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) into the World Trade Organization (WTO) would ease the Middle Kingdom’s economic rise and pivot the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) toward economic and political reform and eventual liberalisation. Two decades have passed since Beijing’s WTO accession. The PRC has not demonstrated a propensity to shape China’s economic policy within a rule-based trading system, nor, arguably, has it become a “responsible stakeholder”.

Why Western nations have remained naïve on the risks of China’s mercantilist-communist economic model for so long is unclear.

The authors of the report explain the risks of continued economic dependence on the PRC.  In order to deny the CCP its ambition of economic hegemony in the Indo-Pacific, the authors will present how the UK can differentiate its economic model from the PRC’s, leading to deepened trade and investment ties with Indo-Pacific partners, and why the UK’s Indo-Pacific tilt must focus on supply chain reform.  In addition, the discussion will focus on the benefits of private sector investment for international infrastructure initiatives to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative, efforts to include secure rare earths supplies required by the defence sector, the need to reform the UK’s investment restriction regime, export control policy recommendations, and the limitations of existing sanctions policy as a deterrent.

Join the Henry Jackson Society for a discussion of the report’s findings, their ramifications, and how best to draw up a policy response.



Darren G. Spinck is an Associate Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society’s Asia Studies Centre.  He is also managing partner of Washington Consulting Solutions, a US-based public affairs agency, where he focuses on policy analysis, strategic message development, and public advocacy programmes.

Mr. Spinck authored the July 2022 Henry Jackson report, “Securing the Strait: Engaging Taiwan in the UK’s Indo-Pacific Tilt.”  As a Vice President at public affairs firm Hannaford Enterprises, he managed a public affairs project for Taiwan and managed media activities (strategic messaging, media relations, and commentary development) with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington, DC, for recognition of the 30th anniversary of the US Congress Taiwan Relations Act, which authorizes America’s de facto diplomatic relations with Taipei and guarantees Taiwan’s security through the sales of arms and other assurances.

He is a regular speaker at the Economic Forum in Krynica and Karpacz, Poland and the Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies’ Europe-Ukraine Forum in Rzeszow, Poland, focusing his discussions on the risks of China’s growing influence in Central and Eastern Europe and US policy toward Ukraine.  He was an international election observer with the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America for Ukraine’s 2019 presidential election.

Mr. Spinck gained a BA in journalism, specializing in public relations, from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, and an MA in international commerce and public policy from George Mason University’s Graduate School of Public Policy, Arlington, VA.



Bob Seely is the Member of Parliament for the Isle of Wight. He sits on the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee. Dr Seely writes academically and journalistically on foreign affairs as well as more generally on non-conventional and new forms of conflict. Prior to his election in June 2017, Dr Seely served on the Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and ISIS campaigns as a member of the Armed Forces. From 1990 to 1994, Dr Seely lived in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet states. His academic and foreign affairs writing is available online at: Dr Seely has written one of the few peer-reviewed definitions of Contemporary Russian Conflict Strategy available in the West and holds a PhD in Russian military strategy.



Sam Ashworth-Hayes is a policy researcher and Associate Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. He has previously worked as an economic consultant and journalist.




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Doctor of Philosophy in biological anthropology, Baroness D’Souza started her career as a researcher and lecturer in the field of reproductive physiology and physical anthropology, teaching at London School of Economics, Oxford Brookes University and City Lit Institute. In 1978, D’Souza founded the International Disaster Institute and consulted widely with the UNDP, UNICEF, Ford Foundation, FAO, Save the Children and the Overseas Development Administration (UK). Before being appointed a Peer, the Baroness was a director for ARTICLE 19 and REDRESS, working on free speech and anti-torture respectively. D’Souza was appointed a Life Peer in 2004 and was Convener of the Cross Benches between 2007 and 2011. Between 2011-2016, Baroness D’Souza was elected Lord Speaker.

Currently, D’Souza is a Privy Counsellor, a Trustee for the Parliamentary Human Rights Group, the President of Children First Alliance and the Founder/Patron of Marefat High School in Kabul, Afghanistan. D’Souza is a Vice Chair for the APPGs on Afghanistan, Mozambique, Japan, Women Peace and Security.





The Henry Jackson Society was pleased to launch a report by Darren G. Spinck, Dr Bob Seely MP and Sam Ashworth-Hayes into the risks of continued economic dependence on the PRC and how the UK can improve its economic ties in the Indo-Pacific. Rt Hon Baroness D’Souza CMG PCA introduced the speakers. Dr Bob Seely then began by outlining the potential geopolitical landscape of the 21st century as a battle between open democracies and closed societies. Darren Spinck discussed the recommendations and findings of the report, considering the effectiveness of sanctions and of diversifying UK ties in the Indo-Pacific. Sam Ashworth-Hayes highlighted marked change since the ‘golden era’ of China-UK relations under David Cameron, whilst discussing infrastructure ties between the two nations. Finally, the speakers answered questions on Government strategy, whether “denial” should be extended beyond economics, and the impact of the speakers’ recommended approach on commercial flows into China.




Committee Room 18, House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA United Kingdom
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Darren G. Spinck, Dr Bob Seely, Sam Ashworth-Hayes, Rt Hon Baroness D’Souza CMG PCA


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