Farage: Coronavirus Exposes Western Supply Chain’s Dependence on China

TOPSHOT - This photo taken on January 22, 2020 shows workers producing facemasks at a factory in Handan in China's northern Hebei province. - China banned trains and planes from leaving Wuhan at the centre of a virus outbreak on January 23, seeking to seal off its 11 million people …
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Nigel Farage has said that the Chinese coronavirus has exposed the West’s dependence on China in its supply chains, and he hopes the pandemic inspires Prime Minister Boris Johnson to reconsider his decision to allow Huawei to help build Britain’s 5G network.

“The West’s supply chains have become too dependent on China,” the Brexit Party leader wrote in Newsweek.

Referencing President Xi Jinping’s government offering support to Serbia and Italy over the Wuhan virus, Mr Farage said: “To see China now exploiting a crisis that they have caused to spread their influence further and deeper into Europe should send a chill down our spines.”

Criticising those who benefit from ties with China, the Brexiteer added: “I have pointed out before that many members of our big business class, of the civil service, and indeed of our political class are increasingly in the pay of China.

“They ought to take their noses out of the trough and have a think. Their financial wellbeing is not above the good of our nation.”

Former international trade secretary Dr Liam Fox has made similar observations on how the pandemic has exposed the fragility of globalisation and the global market, with the British economy less resilient than it would be if it manufactured more goods in-country rather than relying on imports from foreign countries like China.

“I think what it is showing us is that while the ‘just in time’ supply chain in the global economy may provide us with efficiency in the global economy, it doesn’t provide us with resilience in the global economy. I think that’s something we will need to look at after because it’s clear that now the concept of ‘over there’ does not exist in a global economy, and a disruption in one part will very quickly become a disruption elsewhere,” Dr Fox said earlier this month.

The Conservative MP added that the outbreak should prompt the UK to look at making more ourselves — “import substitution” — as well as to reevaluate “the trend to run down stocks and run down warehousing” in order to “increase resilience should we face something like this in the future, which is likely, because pandemics are the norm in human history, not the exception”.

Mr Farage also took aim at the prime minister’s decision to allow Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei to help build the British 5G network, saying, “if nothing else, Boris Johnson must see that his decision… is the wrong one.”

Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partners Australia and the United States have warned against allowing the Chinese corporation access to British networks over national security concerns.

Mr Farage had written last month: “We didn’t free Britain from Brussels only to bow before Beijing.”

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