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‘China threat’ emerges in elections from UK to Australia

LONDON (AP) — It’s not just the economy. While inflation and recession fears weigh heavily on the minds of voters, another issue is popping up in political campaigns from the U.K. and Australia to the U.S. and beyond: the “China threat.”

The two finalists vying to become Britain’s next prime minister, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, clashed in a televised debate last month over who would be toughest on China.

It’s a stark departure from outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s business-focused “Sinophile” approach and part of a hardening of anti-China rhetoric in many Western countries and other democracies, like Japan, that is coming out in election campaigns.

Nations for years have sought to balance promoting trade and investment with the world’s second-largest economy with concerns about China’s projection of military power, espionage and its human rights record.

The pendulum is swinging toward the latter, as…

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