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Aug
16

How China could switch off Britain’s lights in a crisis if we let them build Hinkley C

From: The Telegraph

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This is not the first time that concerns about Chinese involvement in British infrastructure have been raised. In 2013 the Intelligence and Security Committee, which I chaired, issued a critical report on the decision to allow Huawei – a Chinese telecommunications giant with links to the Chinese military – to provide equipment to a 10-billion-pound upgrade of the national telecommunications network in 2005. Given China’s known capacity for cyber-hacking and cyber-espionage around the world, the Committee was “shocked” that no serious attempt was made to analyse potential backdoor systems provided by Huawei. In effect, it meant that Huawei might have introduced systems into Britain’s national infrastructure which allowed Beijing to spy at will on Britain’s Government and people.

At the time of the report, George Osborne reassured China that “the UK is open to Chinese investment.” He did not mention that China forbids foreign companies – including British ones – from investing in their key sensitive sectors such as telecommunications. Nor are these concerns limited to Britain; on Thursday the Australian Government interceded to prevent the Chinese taking a controlling stake in their largest electricity network, citing national security concerns.

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