Father reveals how UK-China tensions are putting daughter's school in jeopardy

20 July 2020, 11:26 | Updated: 20 July 2020, 11:29

By Seán Hickey

This father explained that his daughter's school faces closure because Chinese investors pulled out of a deal to fund the institution.

Matthew spoke to Tom Swarbrick amid deepening tensions between the UK government and the Chinese regime with Hong Kong national security laws and the Huawei ban being notable events stoking the flames. He told Tom that the political situation is now threatening the closure of his daughter's school.

"They were going to be bought out by a Chinese company and the day before the contract, a couple of months ago, they pulled out due to the political climate with the government." He said.

The caller went on to explain that the school has been popular for the children of servicemen and women who were serving abroad and at one time it awarded £1.4 million worth of scholarships to students, but "they have struggled the last few years because of the drop in overseas students, I mean, they did have a lot of Chinese students."

Matthew told Tom that "it's right that the government stands up for what is right, but the government should be supporting these charities, these universities, these schools" who face closure because of a lack of foreign investment because of the current political and social situation.

This caller explained that tensions with China risk the future of his daughter's school
This caller explained that tensions with China risk the future of his daughter's school. Picture: PA

The father told Tom that "one of the students...has started a GoFundMe page and they've raised £30,000. The school needs 1.5 million to survive" and the situation has got to such a dire stage that "the parents are now working with the administrators to try and save the school."

"Because of events on the other side of the world, your daughter's future at that school and the school itself is put at serious serious risk." Tom said. He wondered if that was justifiable for Matthew and the education of his child.

"I think it's right for the government to set the policy" the caller said, "but the government should be stepping in and helping these UK charities, these universities to help survive.

"We shouldn't have to rely on China and the Covid crisis has put the nail in the coffin."

After the remarkable call, Tom noted that Matthew isn't alone. "There will be more people like Matthew that are caught up in what is this spat halfway across the world, as a result of what is going on between the UK and China."

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