The government has “no strategy” to tackle the threat from China and has left the UK “severely handicapped” due to its “short-termist approach”, a new report has claimed.
The Intelligence and Security Committee has published its work on the threat the country poses, saying China has managed to “successfully penetrate every sector of the UK’s economy”.
But it pointed a lot of fingers at Whitehall, saying resources invested into tackling the threat were “completely inadequate” and the “slow speed leaves a lot to be desired”.
The committee, made up by MPs from across parties, said interference from the Chinese government in the UK was “not hard to detect”, but departments “may not previously have been looking for it” – and agencies were focused on overt operations rather than interference activity.
“The UK is now playing catch up and the whole of government has its work cut out to understand and counter the threat from China,” it said.
“The government told the committee that its response to the threat is ‘robust’ and ‘clear eyed’.
“China experts were rather less complimentary, concluding that the government has no strategy on China, let alone an effective one, and that it was singularly failing to deploy a ‘whole-of-government’ approach – a damning appraisal indeed.”