Keywords: British Empire; Cold War; People's Republic of China; Sino-Soviet Alliance; Anglo-American Relations.
This essay analyzes how the United Kingdom readjusted its posture as a world power to cope with the new international scenario determined by the Chinese so-called «leaning to one side». The victory of Maoist communism in the civil war in October 1949 and the alliance of the newly-born People's Republic with the Soviet Union in February 1950 placed Asian politics at the center of the British diplomatic agenda. The creation of a strategic axis between Moscow and Beijing had regional and systemic consequences. It also put to the test the complementarity of the British and US imperial projects, forcing them to renegotiate their respective international roles.