Europe

Liz Truss warns Britain should not become ‘strategically dependent’ on China

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In an exclusive interview with the Telegraph, Liz Truss spoke about how Beijing should not play a part in nuclear plants or 5G networks in the UK. She said: “The way I would put it is that, of course, we trade with China.

“It’s an important trading partner of the UK.”

“But it’s important that we don’t become strategically dependent.”

Liz Truss suggested Beijing-controlled companies should be excluded from contracts to build Sizewell C, as she believes work on such sensitive projects should be conducted with countries which share a “bond of trust” with the UK.

Ms Truss appeared to be cautious when asked if she did not want to see Chinese state-owned companies involved in UK nuclear power plants in the future.

Her remarks make her one of the more China sceptics in the cabinet.

She named 5G technology, quantum technology and artificial intelligence as areas that involvement with Chinese companies should be treated cautiously.

She said: “I’d go back to the broader comments I’ve made about diversifying supply.”

“I think it’s very important that we don’t become strategically dependent and I think it’s important that we make sure that we’re working, particularly in areas of critical national infrastructure, with reliable partners.”

The comments increase speculation over Chinese state-owned company China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) to help build 20 percent of the proposed Suffolk-based Sizewell C nuclear plant.

The foreign secretary was asked again if she opposed Chinese state-owned companies being involved in any new nuclear plants.

She commented: “We are making sure, in all of our policy positions, that we are able to work with like-minded partners on key strategic areas.”

Liz Truss has been the foreign secretary since the recent reshuffle in September this year.

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Ms Truss’s comments come just days after Boris Johnson denied bueng a “Sinophobe” and would not “pitchfork away” from Chinese investment.

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