China will ‘do anything to cling to power’ – Communist state poses threat to UK citizens
The Government’s decision to grant Chinese tech firm Huawei access to UK 5G mobile networks has sparked a storm of controversy since it was announced. There are fears that this may pose a security risk by facilitating the Chinese Government using the equipment to spy. Speaking to Sky News, Tory MP and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee Tom Tugendhat warned that the state’s response to the coronavirus crisis has exposed that they are willing to risk lives to “hang onto power”.
He said: “This is the only time I’ve rebelled against my Government, and I wish I hadn’t had to do it, it’s a great shame.
“But I think the Government is making an error here and I hope very much that they’ll think again.
“This isn’t about the immediate decision as to who builds our 5G network.
“This is about who do we trust to be a strategic partner to build the underpinning architecture of the UK economy for the next 10, 20, 30 years.”
Mr Tugendhat continued: “What we’ve seen out of this COVID-19 is not so much that this is China’s fault, but it has been made very clear that the Chinese Communist Party will do anything to hang onto power, including risk the lives of its own citizens.
“If it will do that to its own citizens, how much do you think it will risk ours?
“How much care do you think it will have for our security or our networks when we see what it’s doing to its own?”
“Given Huawei is, in effect, a branch of the Chinese Communist Party, in a sense that it’s a wholly-owned subsidiary through various centralised union structures, this means that Huawei is not a company we should be doing business with.”
MPs have launched an inquiry into potential Chinese asset-stripping of UK hi-tech firms following the aborted Chinese boardroom takeover of a Hertfordshire-based chip designer, Imagination Technologies.
Mr Tugenhadt told Sky: “We’ve seen through the international telecoms union that China is trying to change the way the internet works.
“At the moment the internet works because it was written by American and British and various other scientists who had principles of freedom and openness and mind.”
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The Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee added: “It works as a very open and distributive network.
“What the ITU is trying to do under Chinese leadership is change it into a state-controlled organisation.
“This is clearly being supported by dictatorial states like China’s communists or Russia’s authoritarians.
“But it’s not being supported, quite rightly, by democratic states like ours or the United States.
“But every time a company like Imagination Technologies is taken over and its technology is used to write or code in the architecture of a new change then this transforms the international networks into more state-based or more in the image of the country that controls them.”
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