A leading security think tank warned on Wednesday of China's growing "interference" in British politics, media, academia, business, technology and other areas.
A report by the London-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)
adds to concerns about alleged Chinese interference raised in
Western nations including the United States, Canada, Australia, New
Zealand, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland.
"Unlike Moscow, Beijing's interference is not aimed at subverting the
West, but represents a rigorous, ruthless advancement of China's
interests and values at the expense of those of the West, including
through actions which encourage self-censorship and self-limiting
policies," RUSI said.
"The Chinese Communist Party sees controlling the narrative about
China abroad as important for reinforcing its legitimacy and
justifying its monopoly on domestic power," it said. "It is also
important for advancing its geopolitical aims."
The report urged London to be more assertive in building a
relationship with Beijing based on "genuine reciprocity."
Its main author, Charles Parton, a China expert and former British
diplomat, said he aimed to "stimulate debate ... about whether what
China is doing is unacceptable."
Parton highlighted examples of China interfering in Britain's
political processes; pressuring academics "to avoid certain subjects
or speakers;" and "threatening British citizens or residents of the
In December, US and British officials said businesses and government
agencies in the two nations and at least 10 other countries had been
the victims of a massive data theft carried out by state-sponsored
Beijing has rejected the allegations. It accuses critical Western
politicians and media of adopting a "Cold War mentality."
Charles Parton, a China expert and former British diplomat, highlighted examples of China interfering in Britain's political processes.