IAN DUNCAN SMITH has condemned Britain’s relationship with China, and has called for a more critical relationship with them later on, after the Coronavirus crisis comes to end.
In an exclusive column for the Mail On Sunday the former Conservative Party leader and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions called for a massive change to foreign policy with China.
In the piece, titled ‘We must stop kow-towing to these despots’, the Chingford and Woodford Green MP argues that because of China’s knowing role in the coronavirus outbreak and its subsequent spread, that he believes that it’s time to discuss how ‘it is vital that we start to discuss how dependent we have become on this totalitarian state’, all the while questioning how human rights have been ignored in the past from our ‘rush to do business with China’.
He goes on the mention the abuse of Uyghur Muslims, the illegal occupation of Tibet by the Chinese government and their warmongering behaviour over land claims on the South China Sea, of which the UN declared illegal (of which Beijing rejected).
He also talks about his party’s role in this, as well as his past experience in government.
This mainly comes down to criticising his party’s former controversial Chancellor George Osborne, of whose trade policies with them (described privately to Smith as ‘Project Kow-Tow’, because of how one-sided the trade relationship is) was a major fixture of his trade policy. He also criticises Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for ‘astonishingly’ using it as a way to vindicate himself, and his policies.
He then discusses how China had a hand in covering up the initial spread of the virus, mainly by silencing critical doctors, including those of Li Wenliang. He concludes the article by stating that ‘there has been one rule for China and another for the rest of us’, and that after this pandemic is over, ‘that must never be allowed to happen again’.
Smith was one of the 36 rebel Tory MPs who voted for an amendment to the Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill, of which would have prevented Chinese mobile phone company Hauwei from being involved in Britain’s 5G network after the year 2022, of which he contributed a speech towards (and is also mentioned in the article).
He lost that vote, with 306 voting against the measure and 286 (including the 36 Tory rebels) voting for it). As of now, the coronavirus has led to allegedly 81,439 cases of it in China, with 3,300 deaths and 75,448 recoveries. In the UK, it’s led to 19,522 cases of the coronavirus, with 1,228 deaths and 135 recoveries. Worldwide meanwhile, it’s led to 710,290 cases of the virus, with 33,550 deaths and 150,734 recoveries.