West ‘Reaping the Whirlwind’ for Policy of Kowtowing to China

BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 26: Chinese police officers wearing masks stand in front of the Tiananmen Gate on January 26, 2020 in Beijing, China. The number of cases of coronavirus rose to 1,975 in mainland China on Sunday. Authorities tightened restrictions on travel and tourism this weekend after putting Wuhan, …
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Former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has said the West is “reaping the whirlwind” for a policy of kowtowing to China and allowing supply chains to become dependant on the communist country.

“There are a whole range of problems with China that grow and grow the more we feed it,” the MP told Maajid Nawaz on LBC on Sunday.

“[Kowtowing] is what the West has essentially been doing now for some time, and now we’re beginning to reap the whirlwind,” he said, pointing not just to the present crisis with the Chinese coronavirus, but with the Chinese Communist Party’s unchallenged persecution of Christians and Muslim Uyghurs, the oppression of Tibet, and territory-grabbing in the South China Sea.

Sir Iain said that China largely dismisses criticism because “they know the West is not going to do anything about it because the West is so desperate. Our telephones, our computers, even the plastic bottles that dispense the hand wash — low and high technology are now completely locked into China.”

Sir Iain told Nawaz: “I question the lack of diversity and this dependence we have on China. Is it not time to have this as a wake-up call and say, ‘I’m sorry, but we should have some strategic production, absolutely, in the West.'”

Alluding to the ongoing security concerns of allowing Chinese firm Huawei to build Britain’s 5G network, he continued: “Our telecoms stuff is nearly being taken over by them. These are strategic issues. Let’s stop trying to shrug and say, ‘We don’t want to say anything because we’re worried about what China will do,’ and start saying, ‘It’s not good enough.'”

 

Despite China’s cover-up of the coronavirus in the early weeks of the pandemic, Europe now finds itself purchasing vast quantities of medical equipment from the very country that spawned the contagion.

Media reports that the United Kingdom, for example, is queuing up behind Italy, Russia, Mongolia, and Serbia for ventilators, with the British in need of 30,000 more to cope with the peak of the pandemic, expected in coming weeks.

There is also the issue that many of the masks and tests European countries have bought from China are faulty, despite being EU-certified in some cases.

At the report that Britain was buying ventilators from China, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said with incredulity: “I hear that the UK government are buying ventilators from China, yes China. Can this be true?”

 

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Sir Iain said that whilst the British establishment is ready to discuss altering the very fabric of how Britons live and work over coronavirus, “The moment anyone mentions China, people shift uncomfortably in their seats and shake their heads. Yet I believe it is vital that we start to discuss how dependent we have become on this totalitarian state.”

“As a result of Beijing’s cover-up and delay, global health experts are convinced the rest of the world had insufficient time to prepare for the pandemic, which means the effect of the outbreak has most likely been worse,” Sir Iain continued.

“The brutal truth is that China seems to flout the normal rules of behaviour in every area of life – from healthcare to trade and from currency manipulation to internal repression. For too long, nations have lamely kow-towed to China in the desperate hope of winning trade deals.

“But once we get clear of this terrible pandemic, it is imperative that we all rethink that relationship and put it on a much more balanced and honest basis.”

Sir Iain is not the only person to call for a “reckoning” on China over coronavirus, with reports that the highest levels of the British government are enraged by the disinformation campaign waged by communist China, with calls for relations to be reassessed after the worst of the pandemic is over.

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