The question of whether Mr Cleverly should be making a visit to the Chinese capital of Beijing has been on the minds of many today. A definitive answer was finally given by who gave her opinion on the matter in a BBC interview on Tuesday.

She stated that rather than cutting off relations it was more important to stay in communication and have healthy dialogue regardless of how different these opinions on the matter may be. This is especially true regarding one’s stance on particular contentious issues, such as those concerning the Chinese government and Britain’s relationship with it. The way she sees it, open communication is key to finding the best solution for both parties.

Having a better understanding of the views and opinions on either side is also essential as it allows for an informed decision to be taken in understanding both points of view. The shortcomings of neglecting to do so could lead to irreparable repercussions that could be far worse than any of the original issues being debated. By getting people in the same room and discussing their separate perspectives head on, it can avoid such scenarios occurring.

This this doesn’t mean it’s the only answer though, as this idea almost works on a case by case basis. A diplomat from the Foreign office has clarified that what was mentioned previously is what is generally seen as the most effective way of handling the situation.

But of course, there are situations where taking a hardline approach is equally necessary, especially when it comes to strongly held beliefs or when negotiations are seemingly hopeless. If this is the case, then the idea of continuing with healthy dialogue may need to be sacrificed in favour of what is seen as the best possible outcome for both sides.

Overall, it’s clear that both sides need to find a way to compromise and come to a decision that is beneficial for all, and most of all, will work. How we get there is equally as important as the final answer. The way this interviewee sees it, staying in the same space and talking through the issues, no matter what the outcome, is the best way to ensure a satisfactory solution.

It may not be the most popular opinion across the board, but it’s clear that there are ways to successfully reconcile even the most contentious issues without resorting to extreme tactics. In this regard, it’s better to understand each other first, and then progress from there.