All That Glistens

Chinese Party-State Influence in Britain

August 2024 9781805260073 280pp
Forthcoming Pre-order
Available as an eBook
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In the 2010s, as China slid deeper into authoritarianism and the UK veered towards political uncertainty, the two countries declared a ‘Golden Era’ of relations—a move that challenged the established international order. This development came about amid rising global concern around Chinese party-state interference abroad, to the disquiet of Britain’s allies. 

In All That Glistens, Martin Thorley peels away the shiny exterior of the Sino-British ‘golden age’ to reveal a relationship built on Chinese government influence over the UK’s affairs, British corruption, and global capitalism. 

Drawing on his years on the ground in Beijing, as well as investigative research using open-source intelligence, Thorley’s timely book sheds light on a murky aspect of international relations. He reveals coordinated Chinese state actions that reach into the heart of Parliament, and the widespread compromise of British politics by Chinese commercial entities, particularly in the nuclear energy, property and currency-trading sectors.


Martin Thorley is a senior analyst at the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, exploring state crime and shadow international relations. A Mandarin-speaker and former postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Exeter, he spent over six years living, studying and building a business in China. He holds a PhD in Contemporary Chinese Studies from the University of Nottingham, and is a former Chiang Ching-kuo doctoral fellow.

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