UK PM Johnson Planning END to Reliance on China

( It’s not just President Donald Trump looking to end reliance on China for key medical supplies and large manufacturing operations. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks to be preparing his country to rely less on imports from China following the publication of a report that showed how the country depends on the country for 71 “critical goods” ranging from PPE and electronics to drugs.

A new government initiative labeled “Project Defend” will be chaired by Dominic Raab, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. It will explore how the UK can solve these supply chain vulnerabilities and look to source essential supplies from friendlier nations perhaps within the British commonwealth, or even begin manufacturing more supplies at home.

Two groups in Whitehall, the British civil service, are also reviewing what the United Kingdom would need to do to increase “onshore” supplies production. Civil servants are effectively drawing up the measures that would need to be taken to “repatriate” essential manufacturing and start creating drugs in British factories and laboratories.

Speaking to British newspaper The Times, a source said that China’s behavior had “alarmed people in Downing Street.”

“We’re seeing resilience as a national security issue,” another source told the paper. “If we are reliant on other states for particular things that is, in effect, a national security concern. The question is how can you mitigate that? You’ve got an awful lot of national security people working into these kind of things.”

It comes after the United Kingdom experienced difficulty sourcing test kits during the initial outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus. The country found itself relying on China to supply antibody testing kits, some three million of them, which ultimately didn’t work. Not only were the tests faulty, but some of the medical equipment imported from China by European countries were found to be deadly and dangerous.

British think tank the Henry Jackson Society recently reported how the United Kingdom relies on China for 71 “critical goods.” The same think tank recently suggested that G7 nations should sue China to the tune of six trillion dollars.