Chinese government has built "a very good network of people" in UK

26 July 2020, 14:36

By Seán Hickey

This academic broke down the work of the Chinese Communist Party in building a narrative of itself in the UK that went unchallenged for years.

Maajid Nawaz described the 48 Group as an organisation which "try to lobby our establishment to become more favourable to PRC interests," and admitted "it sounds alarming to the average ear."

He was joined by Mareike Ohlberg, Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund’s Asia Program and co-author of "Hidden Hand: Exposing how the Chinese Communist Party is reshaping the World." Maajid asked the academic what she has found about the organisation, which she has researched extensively about.

Ms Ohlberg admitted that "we're very confident in our research" and the findings in her book on the 48 Group. She begun by expressing to Maajid that "it's not the only network in Britain."

"It's one important network that is just used for networking purposes to put people in contact with Chinese leaders, and for that, it's incredibly useful."

Ms Ohlberg claimed that the CCP have got a lot of representation in the UK
Ms Ohlberg claimed that the CCP have got a lot of representation in the UK. Picture: PA

"The Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese government have reached out and actually built a very good network of people in Britain" to build influence, Ms Ohlberg revealed.

Ms Ohlberg added that "until very recently, at the highest levels the golden era narrative was never challenged until this year and it was just so entrenched."

The golden era being the idea that Sino-British relations will be built strongly during the 21st century to bring the two countries closer in trading.

The academic went on to speak about the CCP's influence in the UK, noting that "they have come so far in shaping the narrative that it was hardly ever challenged until this year and that, to me, was quite amazing."

You can watch Maajid's whole conversation with Mareike Ohlberg and Professor Clive Hamilton below: