China has penetrated 'every sector' of the UK's economy, Parliamentary committee warns

13 July 2023, 19:24

British and Chinese flags flying together
British and Chinese flags flying together. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

China has been allowed to aggressively target the UK due to the government's failure to develop an effective strategy, a group of top MPs has found.

A report published by Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee said China had penetrated every aspect of the UK economy.

The committee also accused the government of failing to properly tackle the threat posed by China.

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has insisted that is "keenly aware" that the government needs to do more to tackle the country's threat.

Mr Sunak, in a written statement, said: "The committee's inquiry began in 2019 and took the bulk of its evidence in 2020, pre-dating both the Integrated Review 2021 and the Integrated Review Refresh 2023."

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak. Picture: Getty

According to the report, the government's response to tackling China has been "completely inadequate".

"The nature of China's engagement, influence and interference activity may be difficult to detect," the report says.

"But even more concerning is the fact that the Government may not previously have been looking for it."

Read More: Public sector pay rises give Sunak hope but questions remain on how he can cover the bill, writes Andrew Marr

Read More: Rishi Sunak agrees to give millions of public sector workers pay rise - but how much has everyone been offered?

Depending the government's position, Mr Sunak continued: "These are both comprehensive national security and international policy reviews that considerably strengthen our position on China. The Government has already taken actions that are in line with many of the committee's recommendations."

He said that in responding to the "systemic challenge" from China identified in the Integrated Review Refresh, the Government has committed to greater national security protections, closer alignment with allies and engagement with Beijing to preserve stable relations.

But Sir Julian Lewis, in a press conference on Thursday, said: "I've been at pains to point out that we have to have a cut-off point when it comes to taking evidence.

That does not mean to say that we are not continually in dialogue and receiving quarterly reports, for example, from all the intelligence agencies that cover all these matters."

Meanwhile, fellow committee member Kevan Jones called it a "weak" response from the Prime Minister.

"If that is the response from Government, that somehow the report's out of date, I would come up with better arguments than that."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Rosemarie Mallett, Bishop of Croydon, says she hopes the investment fund can be "a catalyst to encourage other institutions to investigate their past and make a better future for impacted communities".

Calls for Church of England to raise £1 billion to address slavery legacy after £100 million deemed 'insufficient'

Trump-Fraud Lawsuit-Weisselberg

Former Trump Organisation chief financial officer pleads guilty to perjury

APTOPIX Haiti Violence

Haiti declares curfew as it tries to restore order after weekend jailbreak

Donald Trump

Supreme Court restores Donald Trump to 2024 presidential primary ballots

Donald Trump cannot be kicked off presidential ballots, Supreme Court rules, handing Republican huge election boost

Donald Trump cannot be kicked off presidential ballots, Supreme Court rules, handing Republican huge election boost

Sinéad O'Connor's estate demanded the former US president stop using her music.

‘She would have been disgusted’: Sinéad O’Connor’s furious estate demands Donald Trump stop using singer’s music

£1.2 million was spent on maintenance and improvements in 2023, despite the venue not being open, a hearing was told.

O2 Academy Brixton to reopen 16 months after deadly crush killed two people

Nikki Haley has defeated Donald Trump in the Washington DC primary - clinching his first win over the former president in the 2024 race to become the Republican presidential candidate.

Nikki Haley defeats Donald Trump in Washington DC vote - becoming first woman to win Republican presidential primary

Russia Nadezhdin Appeal

Russian court upholds decision barring anti-Ukraine war hopeful from election

Pakistan New Prime Minister

Shehbaz Sharif sworn in as Pakistan’s new prime minister

Pregabalin is used to treat a variety of illnesses, including epilepsy, depression and anxiety

Pregabalin ‘robbed me of a life and stopped me having kids’, woman who lived her whole life with chronic pain reveals

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will deliver the 2024 spring Budget on Wednesday

Budget 2024: When is it and what are the key things you need to know?

The AI images have not been directly linked to Trump's presidential campaign.

Trump supporters target African American voters with fake AI images in apparent attempt to sway black vote

Police have failed to solve nearly half of burglaries in England and Wales in the past three years.

Police 'failed to solve a single burglary in nearly half of all neighbourhoods’ in past three years despite pledge

A man has been arrested on suspicion of arson

‘Get out! Get out!’ Dramatic moment police rescue residents as inferno engulfs London flats

Paul Scully has announced that he will not contest his seat at the next election

Paul Scully joins exodus of Tory MPs quitting at the next election