Sunaks China wording looks weak to Beijing warns Duncan-Smith

Iain Duncan Smith hits out at Rishi Sunak’s response to China

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Iain Duncan Smith has hit out at Rishi Sunak for “looking weak” in response to China and demanded strong action and rhetoric from the UK Government. In the Summer during the Tory leadership contest, the Prime Minister labelled China a “threat” before walking this back and naming Beijing instead a strategic “challenge.”

Mr Duncan-Smith told Sky News’ Sophie Ridge: “I am disappointed in my government over this particular area because the prime minister said during the summer that he thought that China represented a systemic threat and then recently he shifted that to systemic challenge.

“The problem with the challenge is it looks weak and we’ve now got a policy which sounds like it could have come from Sir Humphrey in Yes Minister, which is robust pragmatism.

“Now can somebody can please tell me what robust pragmatism means, it means nothing robust, but also pragmatic they cancel each other out.

“The reality of what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to change our integrated review, to put China in as a systemic threat. 

He added: “The Americans are way ahead of us on this.

“Other countries in Europe are talking about it.

“We, the UK, could run the risk of being left behind dragging our feet.”

Meanwhile, Australian MP Michael Danby has blasted the harsh internal policing being used across China to tackle dissent over coronavirus measures.

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Xi Jinping’s regime is under pressure after massive protest erupted over Beijing’s “zero-Covid” rules. 

Mr Danby told Sky News Australia the protests in China will end in “brutal military repression.”

He said: “The Chinese communists spend more on internal policing, even than they do on their very aggressive international military expenditure.

“Ten people at least were burned to death in their houses … because of this Covid repression.

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“It’s in every city in China, that’s the amazing thing.”

Defence Intelligence Analyst Paul Monk has suggested current anti-lockdown backlash in China could be a “serious turning point” for  Xi Jinping’s regime. 

The protests are believed to have been triggered after a number of people lost their lives in an apartment building fire in Urumqi after emergency services were reportedly delayed by lockdown rules.

Mr Monk told Sky News Australia: “It seems to me various authoritarian regimes crack at different, often unpredictable points due to things that they didn’t foresee. This could be a very serious turning point for China.”


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