Criticism is growing of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) handling of the pandemic in the UK, with several prominent Conservative politicians pushing for a rethink of the UK’s relationship with the CCP.
In 2015, the former Finance Minister George Osborne, under the Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, declared a so-called Golden Era between the UK and China.
The CCP virus pandemic has cast a stark new light on such ties, as a growing chorus of British politicians are voicing their concerns over the UK’s relationship with the Chinese communist state.
“I think all of this is very much going to change the image of China, with many members of Parliament, and there will absolutely be a rethink on our relationship with China,” British Conservative politician Owen Paterson told NTD.
Last Thursday, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said there will be “hard questions” for China.
“In relationship with China, look, I think absolutely needs to be a very, very deep dive after-the-event review of the lessons, including of the outbreak of the virus. And I don’t think we can flinch from that at all,” he said.
The UK’s decision to allow Huawei a role in its 5G network earlier this year sparked concern from the United States, its allies, and politicians from within UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative party.
Huawei’s links with the CCP are well-documented. The UK government has said that Huawei is a high risk vendor but also allowed them a role in the 5G network, capped at 35 percent.
“I think the government’s been misadvised,” said Paterson. “I hope that events of recent weeks would have really woken them up to the danger of being beholden on a company which is so closely run by the Chinese communist government.”
Lord Hague, former UK Foreign Secretary, warned during a webinar on Wednesday that the UK can’t be reliant on technology from China because the regime “doesn’t play by our rules.”
In an interview with NTD Charles Parton, a former British Diplomat in China, said “I think the mood in this country, vis-a-vis China, or perhaps one should say vis-a-vis the Chinese communist party, as one shouldn’t conflate necessarily the two, is definitely less forgiving than it was.”
He added, “China needs the rest of the world, as much as the rest of the world needs China. So I think we need to look at that Huawei decision again.”
Washington has repeatedly warning London about Huawei’s security risks. A UK government spokesperson told NTD that the UK government’s position on Huawei hasn’t changed.
A vote on Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G network is expected in the coming months, but a date is yet to be scheduled. A survey, commissioned by the foreign policy think tank Henry Jackson society, found that 40 percent of the British public oppose allowing Huawei into the UK’s 5G network.
The poll of about 1,000 British adults also found the majority of Brits want China to face an international investigation over the CCP virus outbreak, which emerged from mainland China last year and causes the disease COVID-19.