UK Slammed Over Sluggish Sanctions to China Over Cyberattacks

The public has been up in arms with the government’s delayed response to the Chinese cyberattacks that were carried out in 2021/2. 

UK Finally Taking Action

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Two “malicious” cyberattacks, including one on Britain’s election watchdog, have led the UK to act out in response finally.  

40 Million Voters Details Accessed

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China has been accused of a state-backed hack on MPs and the Electoral Commission, whereby allegedly 40 million voters’ personal details were accessed. 

Oliver Dowden Speaks Out

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The deputy prime minister, Oliver Dowden said the attacks were a “clear and persistent pattern of behaviour that signals hostile intent from China.”

Action Taken Against Beijing

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Mr Dowden has emphasised that the UK will take “swift and robust actions” against Beijing for any actions that targets the UK’s politicians and democratiuc institutions. 

We Will Still Work With China

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However, Dowden admitted that the UK will continue to work with China, “when its’s our national interest” such as trade and climate change. The Cabinet Office minister, Sir David Lidington is presently in China discussing the countries relations with the Communist Party. 

Chinese Ambassador Called to Give an Explanation

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GCHQ identified the Chinese hacking group as the perpetrators of the cyberattack and the Foreign Office will summon the Chinese ambassador to explain what happened. 

Prime Ministers Lack of Action Is Causing a Stir

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The Members of Parliment are putting pressure on Rishi Sunak to use Mr Dowden’s response as a critical turning point to act appropriately against the given circumstances. 

Inadequate Response Calls for Criticism

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China hawk and former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith describes the prime minister’s response as “like an elephant giving birth to a mouse.”

China Is a Treat to UK’s Security

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Several persons in authority have spoken up about the lack of response. Former home secretary Suella Braverman has stipulated that China should be listed as a threat to Britain’s national security, saying, “China is a hostile state and poses an unprecedented threat to our national security.” 

China Has Not Been Held Accountable

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Mr Jenrick, a future Tory leadership contender, criticised Britain’s response to China, stating that they haven’t held China accountable for their attack on democracy. 

Britain’s Appeasement Compared to That of Hitler in the 1930s

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During a row over the government’s approach, Sir Iain compared the government’s current policy to that of Britain’s pre-Second World War administration. 

Past Lessons Should Be Learnt

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At a press conference, Sir Iain spoke in Westminister and stated: “The lesson we learned from the 1930s is that appeasement never works.”

Mr Sunak Said Measures Are in Place

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The hacks began in August 2021 but were only identified in October 2022. Mr Sunak had previously suggested that Britain was taking adequate measures to protect itself from an “increasingly assertive” China. 

Sunak Agrees That China Poses a Threat

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Sunak went on to explain that China was the biggest threat to Britain’s economic security and said, “It’s right that we take measures to protect ourselves, which is what we are doing.” 

Ramifications Given to China

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Mr Dowden told the MPs that the UK was implementing sanctions on two people and a company associated with the cybergroup APT31, which is affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of State Security. 

Not the Only Attempt That We Will See

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Sir Chris Bryant, a former Labour minister told the Commons that he found Mr Dowden to be “utterly unconvincing.” He was labelled dangerous for believing that this attack was the only Chinese state-led attempt to disrupt the British democratic system.  

No Robust Action Seen Yet

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SNP MP Stewart Malcolm McDonald said that Mr Dowden has stated that they have taken robust action, however he believes that Dowden has turned up “at a gun fight with a wooden spoon.”

No Chinese Official Sanctioned

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Not a single Chinese state official has been sanctioned yet, which fuels McDonald’s accusation that no action has been taken yet. 

Ipac Member Speaks Out

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Senior Conservative MP Henry Smith, a member of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (Ipac), has had a lot to say about the UK’s lacklustre response. 

UK Needs to Stop Being Naive

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He believes the government needs to stop being “naive” and said: “Clearly, they are a threat by their actions. What more do they need to be doing before people acknowledge that ?”

Parallels Drawn Between Putin and XI

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The masses have spoken with former cabinet minister Sir Simon Clarke calling on the government to “end our naivety on China.” He stated that we were blind with regard to Putin’s true nature, and shouldn’t make the same mistake with Xi. 

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