UK is ringing a wakeup call on China: existential threat

vWithout swift and decisive action the United Kingdom “is on a trajectory for the nightmare scenario where China steals blueprints, sets standards, and builds products, exerting political and economic influence at every step,” UK’s parliamentary committee concludes in an alarming report.

UK’s Intelligence and Security Committee, responsible for overseeing the the country’s intelligence community, released a report stating that China has successfully penetrated every sector of the British economy. According to the politicians, China presents a serious commercial challenge but also has the potential to pose an existential threat to liberal democratic systems.

“China is engaged in a battle for technological supremacy with the West – one which it appears to be winning,” the committee states. “Chinese dominance of technology has far-reaching consequences.”

The bashing on China continues throughout the report, which is 200 pages long.

“China’s ruthless targeting is not just economic: it is similarly aggressive in its interference activities, which it operates to advance its own interests, values, and narrative at the expense of those of the West,” states the report on the second page.

While the strategic threat is not news, politicians are missing answers on how to protect the UK.

No strategy to counter the threat

In light of China’s ambition to become a global economic and technological superpower, the UK Government, according to experts, has no strategy to address threats from China.

“They felt very strongly that HMG (UK Government) did not have any strategy on China, let alone an effective one, and that it was singularly failing to deploy a ‘whole-of-government’ approach when countering the threat from China – a damning appraisal indeed.”

Until recently, the UK Government readily accepted Chinese money “with few questions asked,” and China has been buying up and seeking to control or influence the UK’s Industry and Energy Sectors. One of the consequences is that the UK is now playing catch-up, the report states.

Today, China has advanced research, development, and manufacturing capabilities across various high-tech sectors, from nuclear energy to telecommunications. China’s ambition to be a global technological and economic superpower “is rooted in its history.”

China is seeking technological dominance by investing sums in a series of “Manhattan Projects.” The UK parliamentary committee listed ten vital industrial sectors in which the Chinese Communist Party intends China to become a world leader, including electric vehicles, advanced robotics and AI, aerospace, biomedicine, and others.

China maintains an enormous state intelligence apparatus, dwarfing the UK's Intelligence. China also has a highly capable cyber – and increasingly sophisticated cyber-espionage – operations, as stated by the report.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that he welcomed the report, claiming that China posed "an epoch-defining challenge to the international order," but he believes the government had strengthened its position since 2020 when the bulk of evidence for the report was collected, Sky news reports.

The UK parliamentary committee based their report on witnesses from the government, such as the Secret intelligence service, Security Service, Defense Intelligence, or Cabinet officials, external experts from King’s College London Policy Institute, Royal United Services Institute, University of Oxford, and others.

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