The government is in a tough spot when it comes to how to deal with China

Editorial: Security concerns will always be butting up against the need for trade and investment

Wednesday 28 July 2021 19:59
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<p>Boris Johnson on a visit to the Nissan factory in Sunderland</p>

Boris Johnson on a visit to the Nissan factory in Sunderland

Should Britain be wary of its reliance on Chinese suppliers for the growth of its electric vehicles industry? The question is vexing the cabinet, wherein a split is developing between the prime minister and his colleagues.

Boris Johnson is said to be relatively relaxed about the supply chain of parts and know-how leading so often back to Chinese companies with close links to the state. His colleagues, however, fear that the supply of parts and technology may cease one day and leave Britain’s (hopefully) resurgent and electrified automotive sector grinding to a halt.

Factories in Sunderland or Merseyside could thus find themselves subject to industrial pressure as a result of differences over, say, Hong Kong or the persecution of the Uyghur. It is not a position any proud sovereign nation would wish to be in, but it may be inevitable, given China’s technological prowess and economic clout.

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