Prime Minister Liz Truss is reportedly planning to officially designate China as a “threat” to the UK for the first time, signalling a significant shift in foreign policy for the last three Tory leaders.
Liz Truss is attempting to dismantle more of the previous regime’s policy positions, with reports circulating that the new government will seek to reverse the previous decade’s efforts to court the communist regime in Beijing.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Truss is currently updating Boris Johnson’s 2021 Integrated Review on China, shifting the government’s stance from viewing the murderous dictatorship as a “systemic competitor” to the “most serious long-term threat to our values and way of life.”
The overview is expected to be made public within the next few days. It comes after Sir Jeremy Fleming, the head of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) intelligence agency, warned this week that China’s growing technological prowess is a “threat to us all.”
Fleming singled out China’s BeiDou satellite navigation system, an alternative to the American-run Global Positioning System (GPS), as a major source of concern, noting that it could be used not only to interfere with Western satellites in the event of a conflict but also as a global surveillance tool to spy on the West.
The potential shift in the government’s stance could have a significant impact on China’s ability to advance its military technology, given that top British universities have been working on joint research projects with people connected to the Chinese defence apparatus for the past two years.
For example, 33 universities, including Cambridge, have been accused of developing nuclear weapons technology with people connected to the Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP), the Chinese government’s chief nuclear weapons developer.