China fears rise: 84% of Brits are worried about growing influence of Beijing – and 57% say it poses a ‘significant risk’ to global peace
- Rishi Sunak recently warned China is an ‘epoch-defining challenge’ to the West
Eight in 10 Britons are worried about the growing global influence of China, a new poll has revealed.
A Redfield & Wilton Strategies survey for MailOnline showed 84 per cent were ‘concerned’ about Beijing’s increasing power.
More than half (57 per cent) also agreed that China posed a ‘significant risk’ to international peace and stability.
It comes after Rishi Sunak recently warned of China’s ‘willingness to use all the levers of state power to achieve a dominant role in global affairs’.
The Prime Minister this month used an updated review of Britain’s foreign policy to claim Beijing represented an ‘epoch-defining challenge’ to the West.
A Redfield & Wilton Strategies survey for MailOnline showed 84 per cent were ‘concerned’ about Beijing’s increasing power
More than half (57 per cent) agreed that China posed a ‘significant risk’ to international peace and stability
Rishi Sunak has recently expressed fears about Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ‘deepening partnership’ with Russia’s Vladimir Putin
Mr Sunak cited fears about China’s ‘aggressive stance’ in the South China Sea and towards Taiwan, concerns about human rights violations in Xinjiang against Uyghurs, and the communist state’s ‘deepening partnership’ with Russia.
But the PM came under pressure from Sino-sceptic Tory MPs for failing to officially designate China as a ‘threat’ to the UK’s national security.
The Redfield & Wilton poll – conducted after the publication of the Government’s refreshed Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy – showed only 26 per cent supported ministers’ approach to relations with China.
This compared to 14 per cent who were opposed, one third (33 per cent) who neither supported or opposed the Government’s approach, and a quarter (26 per cent) who said they did not know.
The survey revealed 28 per cent were ‘very concerned’ about China’s growing influence, 35 per cent were ‘fairly concerned’, and 21 per cent were ‘slightly concerned’.
Less than one-fifth (16 per cent) said they were ‘not at all concerned’.
Similarly, only 17 per cent said ‘No’ when asked if China posed a significant risk to international peace and stability, compared to the 57 per cent who said ‘Yes’ and 26 per cent who replied ‘don’t know’.
China’s growing influence in recent decades has been accompanied by the rapid growth in its economy and trade with Western nations.
Almost half of respondents (49 per cent) said they did not usually take into consideration whether a product is made in China or not before purchasing.
This compared to 38 per cent who said they usually do take into consideration whether a product is made in China or not.
Only 24 per cent said it would be easy or very easy for the average person to avoid buying products made in China, compared to more than two-thirds (67 per cent) who said it would be difficult or very difficult.
The Government’s efforts to reduce China’s influence in Britain has included buying out the state-owned China General Nuclear from the Sizewell C nuclear power plant, while ministers have been banned from using Chinese-owned social media app TikTok on their work phones and devices on security grounds.
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