British spy agencies foresee a more assertive China after COVID-19 pandemic

MI6British intelligence agencies are advising policymakers that China will become “more assertive” after the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, while some government officials are urging a re-examination of London’s relationship with Beijing.

According to The Guardian newspaper, analysts from Britain’s external and domestic spy agencies, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and the Security Service (MI5), expect that the Chinese government will aggressively promote a narrative that favorably compares its response to COVID-19 to that of Western nations. The goal of this narrative, according to British intelligence officials, will be to demonstrate the alleged superiority of China’s centralized one-party state over the pluralistic decision-making system that is prevalent in Western nations.

In response to this narrative by Beijing, the British government should adopt a more “realistic view” of its relationship with China and re-examine its dependency on the Chinese industry, especially in strategic areas of the economy, such as hi-tech research and production, as well as digital telecommunications and artificial intelligence. The Guardian said that the consensus in the British intelligence community continues to be that London acted wisely by giving the Chinese telecommunications hardware firm Huawei a 35 percent share in the construction of Britain’s 5G telecommunications network earlier this year, as the move does not compromise British strategic interests. Additionally, London should be careful not to criticize Beijing at the moment, given that much of the medical supplies that the country needs to defend itself the coronavirus are produced in China.

However, after the COVID-19 crisis, Britain is likely to re-examine its relationship —economic and political— with China, with the help of its intelligence agencies, said The Guardian. The paper reported that a group of conservative members of parliament have already formed a semi-official ‘China-skeptics block’. These parliamentarians reportedly wrote a letter to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week, urging him to “rethink [Britain’s] relationship with China”, taking “a strategic view of Britain’s long-term economic, technical and security needs”.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 13 April 2020 | Permalink

5 Responses to British spy agencies foresee a more assertive China after COVID-19 pandemic

  1. Emanuel Stankiewicz says:

    Seems like the wdstern world needed a catastrophe like covid 19 to happen in order ro finally re examine its relations and strategy towards china. At least something good will come out from the disease…and this re examjnation will probably be done by many other wdstern govefnments. Finally.

  2. nimicent says:

    Why? Why become more assertive? It’s such a weird reaction.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

  3. Chukchi says:

    Chinese (CCP) are guilty as hell!
    There is going to be a major shift and major re-examination after this is over.
    They (CCP) will be lucky if it is only re-examination. I think it will be much, much more than that…

  4. Jack says:

    @nimicent Not weird at all if you understand China’s mentality about this. They desire and NEED to display strength above all else. The Coronavirus pandemic objectively threatens that. As a result, they’ll push a narrative that puts them in a favorable position and one of strength, even if the facts of what happen would suggest otherwise.

    Once the world gets through this crisis, the will start looking back to see what happened and how it can be prevented in the future. This will almost certainly put how China initially handled this in the spotlight. They will push back on that, and be more assertive about their position as a result

  5. Frank Mueller says:

    That’s what I thought! I was right!

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