What is the Government doing to contest the challenges posed by China to the Commonwealth and the UK’s interests in Africa? – House of Lords International Relations & Defence Committee

Jan 26, 2022 | Featured parliamentary activity, Uncategorized

International Relations and Defence Committee

Wednesday 26 January 2022.

Witness:
Vicky Ford MP,
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, Minister for Africa

Minister, can you say something about the reported attempts of the PRC to displace the UK’s influence in the Commonwealth –the subversion of UN institutions by the CCP in forcing African countries to support the PRC by buying their votes on issues like the persecution of Uyghurs and to revoke relationships with Taiwan. In Uganda, where you were last week, there is £1.6 billion of debt and in November it was reported that Entebe airport was reported to have been taken by China after loans were not repaid. In the context of swingeing cuts to ODA how can we meet these threats to ours and democratic interests?

China is one of the most actively engaged outside powers in Africa (referred to in this Committee’s report on China published in September). Issues include their pursuit of natural resources( including the mining of lithium by child labour in DRC), enormous debt traps, and plans to establish a permanent military presence (from Djibouti to Equatorial Guinea). What is the Government doing to contest the challenges posed by China to the Commonwealth and the UK’s interests in Africa?

Minister, can you say something about the reported attempts of the PRC to displace the UK’s influence in the Commonwealth –the subversion of UN institutions by the CCP in forcing African countries to support the PRC by buying their votes on issues like the persecution of Uyghurs and to revoke relationships with Taiwan. In Uganda, where you were last week, there is £1.6 billion of debt and in November it was reported that Entebe airport was reported to have been taken by China after loans were not repaid. In the context of swingeing cuts to ODA how can we meet these threats to ours and democratic interests?

Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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