Iain Duncan Smith: UK needs to urgently review nuclear contracts with China. The former Conservative leader said Chinese dominance is now a threat to the free world and Beijing cannot be trusted. Iain Duncan Smith has said the UK should learn from what happened in the 1930s when it comes to present day China – and the government should review its contracts in the strategic nuclear sector and other areas of national security. The former leader of the Conservative party said the UK needs to urgently look at its relationship with Beijing as China is not a “trusted vendor”. He claimed Chinese dominance is now a threat to the free world and Britain needs to be very cautious. Sir Iain, who remains a leading Conservative, told Sky News: “If you think you can turn a blind eye to a country’s appalling treatment of both the people in its own home territory and its aggression abroad then you buy what we learnt years ago – a problem which is bigger and bigger as the years go by. “We learnt this back in the 1930s, we have to think again now we are facing a very similar problem.” China’s investment in the UK’s nuclear sector is at the moment primarily financial, but its ambition is far greater than that. State-owned China General Nuclear UK (CGN UK) is a minority stakeholder in the Hinkley Point C power station in Somerset, which is under construction, and Sizewell C in Suffolk. Both are in partnership with the French company EDF. But the big prize is Bradwell B in Essex. CGN UK holds the majority stake (66.5%) with EDF playing a minority role. If it eventually designs and builds a nuclear reactor on the site, as planned, it would be an enormous achievement and it would be a way of showcasing Chinese nuclear technology to the rest of the world. There is, though, another side to this; the UK, dealing with a twin Brexit/COVID crisis, needs investment – and China is a country you simply cannot ignore. Dr Yu Jie, senior research fellow on China at Chatham House, said the UK should be careful about sending out mixed messages.
Sky News 13th July 2020 read more »
The UK and the People’s Republic of China make an odd couple. In the “golden era” of bilateral relations, ushered in by David Cameron, the UK welcomed Chinese companies to invest in critical infrastructure such as 5G and nuclear power plants. But the Chinese ambassador has now threatened Britain with dire consequences if the government were to act upon its more recent second thoughts. Should we take the ambassador’s threat seriously?
Observer 12th July 2020 read more »