Britain’s top intelligence officials are reportedly signaling that it is time for the U.K. to rethink its relationship with China after the communist nation lied and tried to cover up the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China.
“They reckon China will become more assertive in defending its one-party model as having successfully tackled the pandemic and that Boris Johnson and other ministers will have to take a ‘realistic view’ and consider how the UK responds,” The Guardian reported. “Issues being aired are whether the UK wants to restrict takeovers of key companies in high-tech areas such as digital communications and artificial intelligence, and whether it should reduce Chinese students’ access to research at universities and elsewhere.”
The news comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was released from the hospital after battling the coronavirus, which at one point had put him in the intensive care unit.
“I have today left hospital after a week in which the NHS has saved my life. No question,” Johnson said. “It’s hard to find words to express my debt, but before I come to that, I want to thank everyone in the entire UK for the effort and the sacrifice you have made, and are making.”
Johnson praised, by name, the specific people in the hospital who took care of him at a time when he said that “things could have gone either way.”
It is hard to find the words to express my debt to the NHS for saving my life.
The efforts of millions of people across this country to stay home are worth it. Together we will overcome this challenge, as we have overcome so many challenges in the past. #StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/HK7Ch8BMB5
— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) April 12, 2020
“MI6 is also understood to have told ministers that China was significantly under-reporting the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in January and February, echoing similar briefings given by the CIA to the White House,” The Guardian reported. “A group of Conservative backbenchers, many of whom were prominent Brexiters, have begun to form a bloc of China-sceptics.”
Another British publication, The Daily Mail, reported last month:
Mr Johnson has been warned by scientific advisers that China’s officially declared statistics on the number of cases of coronavirus could be ‘downplayed by a factor of 15 to 40 times’. And No 10 believes China is seeking to build its economic power during the pandemic with ‘predatory offers of help’ countries around the world.
A major review of British foreign policy has been shelved due to the Covid-19 outbreak and will not report until the impact of the virus can be assessed. A Government source close to the review said: ‘It is going to be back to the diplomatic drawing board after this. Rethink is an understatement.’
On Monday, China reported a sharp uptick in new coronavirus cases in its country, the highest number in roughly six weeks, as the communist nation has already had to put one county in central China on lockdown and a city on the Russian border under lockdown.
Asia analyst Gordon Chang told Fox News last week that there were other signs that China was dealing with a significant outbreak.
“What’s really of concern, though, is that this is probably jumped to other cities, especially those on the east, so for instance, Shanghai, Beijing, are probably experiencing a substantial number of cases that China’s not talking about,” Chang said. “And the reason why we can suspect that is because in Shanghai, many of the tourist attractions have indeed been shut down in the last three or four days, after being reopened just a week before. So that’s a real indication that there’s a problem in the big cities.”