A major British business group said thousands of British companies were cutting economic ties with China in hopes of accelerating the separation between China and the West.
Tony Dunker, executive director of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said thousands of British businesses are now rethinking their supply chains in anticipation of rising anti-China political sentiment.
“Every company I talk to right now is working on rethinking their supply chains,” he told FT Weekend. We expect it to accelerate towards a world where
Mr Dunker said Britain needed “a new strategic alliance in the world” amid rising tensions with China. In Washington, he noted that “everything they talk about” is that businesses need to build “resilience” in preparation for separation from China.
Mr Dunker said as relations between Britain and China deteriorated, Britain would need to find new trading partners and rekindle old ones such as the European Union.
“If the political experts and security experts are right, we will all need to be good friends again,” he told the newspaper.
China has emerged as a major foreign policy battleground between the Conservative Party leader and the two finalists for the UK prime minister’s seat.
Foreign Minister Liz Truss and former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have pledged to curb the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime to Britain’s national and economic security.
Truss’ campaign emphasized that she would continue to strengthen Britain’s position against China and help lead the “international response to increasing Chinese aggression”.
Sunak, who has previously been praised for his “no-nonsense” view of China by the Global Times, a spokesperson for the Chinese Communist Party, called China “the greatest threat to the security and prosperity of Britain and the world”, and all It seeks to boost its national security credentials by promising to close the 30 Confucius Institutes — Beijing-backed language and cultural centers — in the United Kingdom.
British officials and politicians are becoming increasingly wary of China’s growing economic influence in Britain.
Commerce Secretary Kwasi Kwarten announced on July 20 that he had blocked a Chinese company from acquiring smart camera technology from the University of Manchester.
By law, Kwarteng is also presiding over an investigation into the acquisition of Newport Wafer Fab by Nexperia, the Netherlands-based subsidiary of Chinese smartphone maker Wingtech Technology.
PA Media contributed to this report.