mandag 13. april 2020

UK spy agencies urge China rethink once Covid-19 crisis is over

Britain’s intelligence community believes the UK needs to reassess its relationship with China after the coronavirus crisis subsides and consider if tighter controls are needed over high-tech and other strategic industries.

They reckon China will become more assertive in defending its one-party model as having successfully tackled the pandemic and that Boris Johnson and other ministers will have to take a “realistic view” and consider how the UK responds. Issues being aired are whether the UK wants to restrict takeovers of key companies in high-tech areas such as digital communications and artificial intelligence, and whether it should reduce Chinese students’ access to research at universities and elsewhere.

But MI6, the foreign intelligence service, and MI5, its domestic equivalent, still believe it was correct to allow Huawei access to Britain’s 5G network, capped at 35% – a decision made by Johnson in January – although the new emphasis on China may make that decision increasingly hard to defend as Conservative rebels press for a rethink.