Published On: Thu, Jul 23rd, 2020

China latest: Beijing poses a bigger threat to the UK than Russia – poll | UK | News

Relations between the UK and China have become significantly strained over recent weeks after Beijing pushed through a controversial security law in Hong Kong. On Monday, the UK suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in protest at the Chinese crackdown in the former British colony. China reacted with fury, with a Foreign Ministry spokesman warning: “China will make a forceful counter-attack to the UK’s wrong actions.

“China urges the UK to give up its fantasies of continuing colonial influence in Hong Kong and immediately correct its mistakes.”

On Tuesday, the Investigation and Security Committee (ISC) released a long-awaited report investigating suspicions Russia had interfered with UK elections and referendums.

Despite claiming it would be “difficult – if not impossible – to prove” allegations Moscow tried to influence the Brexit vote from 2016, the report lashed out at the government for failing to recognise a threat posed by the Kremlin.

Despite finding Moscow did not meddle with the Brexit referendum in 2016, the inquiry suggested Russia had influenced the Scottish independence vote back in 2014.

The latest poll, which ran from 10am on Wednesday July 22 until 9am on Thursday July 23, revealed three-quarters (75 percent or 791 readers) of the 1,069 readers who voted were more worried by the threat posed to the UK by China.

Just 16 percent (182 readers) feel more threatened by Russia, while the remaining nine percent (96 readers) voted “don’t know”. readers have expressed their fears over the rising tensions between the UK and China, in particular the potential impact of the ever-increasing deteriorating relations between the two countries.

One person said: “China is the biggest lender of money to the UK. If we damage our relationship who will we borrow the money from?

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“Only this kind of planned restrictive spending will hit China in it’s pockets and make them review their position or change their current unacceptable policies and bullying behaviour.”

A third reader commented: “The ‘made in China’ stamp is far more fearful than nuclear weapons.

“The reliance of cheap stuff “made in China” is how China will win – albeit in the short-term – against the West if it all turns out handbags-at-dawn.

“China now has more billionaires then America. Quite an odd concept for a Communist country, where supposedly “everyone has equal”.

“Until Western manufacturing steps back up the the plate, even state sponsored and subsidised Western manufacturing China will be a thorny issue.”

On Monday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the UK is suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in protest at the Chinese crackdown in the former British colony.

He said: “We will not consider re-activating those arrangements, unless and until there are clear and robust safeguards, which are able to prevent extradition from the UK being misused under the new national security legislation.”

The former British colony maintained its autonomy from Beijing since 1997 when the UK handed Hong Kong back to mainland China.

But earlier this year, the Communist nation introduced a new security law viewed as an attempt to end Hong Kong’s independence.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also publicly condemned the move by Beijing and said the UK would have no choice but to offer up to three million residents a route to UK citizenship.

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