All That Glistens w/ Martin Thorley

22 Mar 2024 – 12:00 GMT
Oxford Literary Festival
Oxford Martin School
Lecture Theatre
34 Broad Street

Crime analyst Martin Thorley goes behind the ‘golden era’ of Sino-British relations in the 2010s and uncovers a period of Chinese government influence over British affairs and corruption.

Thorley says the declaration of the golden era came at time of political uncertainty in the UK and as China was sliding deeper into authoritarianism. It caused disquiet among Britain’s allies. He reveals coordinated Chinese state actions that reached deep into the UK Parliament and compromise of British politics by Chinese commercial entities, particularly in nuclear energy, property and currency trading.

About the book

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.

About the speaker

Martin Thorley is a senior analyst at the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime. He is a Mandarin speaker and spent more than six years living, studying and building a business in China.

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