Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy has told Times Radio she thinks China could be excluded from major UK infrastructure projects, such as the 5G network and the construction of nuclear power stations, if home grown alternatives are available.
Nandy said the UK needed a proper assessment of the national security implications of Chinese involvement in such projects.
The comments come after China’s imposition of a sweeping security law in Hong Kong, in violation of international agreements and its own basic law. The law makes ‘secession’ and ‘subversion’ punishable by up to life in prison.
Speaking in the House of Commons today, the Foreign Secretary said the law was a clear breach of the 1984 Sino-British joint declaration, which paved the way for the handover of the territory in 1997 under the ‘one country, two systems’ framework. He also announced that the government will create a new settlement route for Hong Kong residents with British National Overseas passports.
However, China’s actions are likely to reignite criticism over the prime minister’s decision earlier this year to let Chinese telecoms giant Huawei build parts of the UK’s 5G network.
State-owned China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) owns a third of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, which started construction in December 2018.