The UK would not have to rely on “cheap” products from China if it is willing to invest in British workers and industry, the former leader of the Conservative Party told Breitbart London.
In an interview at the Conservative Party Conference, former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has infiltrated education and industries in the UK, which he said have become too dependent on Chinese cash and technology.
Sir Iain told Breitbart London that he hopes the British government will begin to recognise that China is not only a “real and present threat” to UK security but also to UK industry.
“We think much of industry and some quite secure areas like nuclear industries become far too dependant on Chinese technology. The Chinese don’t play by the rules. So you know the reason why they’ve had to take Chinese technologies is the Chinese themselves have killed off some of the competition.
“If you look at 5G, Huawei in prime position, they can underbid pretty much any normal company in the free world because they get massively subsidised by the Chinese bank, against the rules of the WTO. But then the Chinese say they don’t have to follow the rules because they are still a developing nation. Really? Developing nation… You’re joking.”
The top Tory said that the free world has been “naive” in how they have handled the government in Beijing, which Duncan Smith said is “debauching the natural rules-based order for trade and finance,” through technology theft and state-subsidised business.
“If we keep chasing cheap business in China, that means we don’t invest in what we need to invest in here, in the UK, to improve our productivity and the quality of life for those who work in these industries and because they’re competing with Chinese labour, which is impossible.
“We need to start thinking about how we make our own workforce viable, invest in them, and in our own tech then we don’t need China.”
Duncan Smith said that Western nations should look to “progressively decouple” their economies from China, arguing that the CCP is “not an organisation, not a government that we can rely on.”
“It doesn’t obey rules, it doesn’t obey laws. It broke the Sino-British agreement which was jointly agreed upon. It’s been rounding up and arresting and attaining and prosecuting what we would understand as peaceful protesters in Hong Kong.
“This is an international treaty signed by China, which they have broken and they don’t care any longer. Why are we still trading with countries that break treaties like that?” he questioned.
"I would like the G7 to review the whole idea that we can protest a little bit about China's eradication of freedom and democracy but still rush to them to invest with them and to take their money… move away from the idea of a greedy rush to China" https://t.co/xYOTe8HHhU
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 13, 2021
Sir Iain, who was one of several lawmakers sanctioned by the CCP earlier this year in retaliation for sanctions being imposed on Chinese officials in the Xinjiang region, repeated his claim that a genocide is being committed against the Uyghur Muslims by the communist government, but added that the persecution extends to many groups throughout China, including Tibetans, Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners.
“This is not a country that we can do business with because they are taking our money but giving us nothing back in return,” on human rights, he said.
The founder of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) said that he believes political will is building in the West to confront the Chinese dictatorship, saying: “Two years ago, we were completely addicted to them. Now, we’re beginning to change.”
One of the key players in Europe taking on China will be Germany. It remains to be seen what stance the next German government will take on China, however, both possible successors to Angela Merkel have expressed intentions to have friendly relations with Beijing.
During Merkel’s sixteen-year reign, Germany has seen its economic reliance on China increase to the extent that the communist nation became Germany’s top trading partner in 2018.
“Germany is conflicted,” Sir Iain said, adding: “I’m afraid so much of the cars that they sell are made in China now and they have a balance of payments a surplus for China at the moment. So, they don’t want to conflict with that, and they also got this row over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia which will cut out the Eastern Europeans.
“So there are big rows to be had here, but I think the shift is on. If you look at the European Parliament, they’ve almost certainly now concerned about the presence and involvement of China and Russia and the same is for many politicians across Europe.
“The mood is changing and I think governments are going to have to look at that.”
Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter at @KurtZindulka