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Britain has stepped up its campaign against the world’s second superpower over its handling of the coronavirus crisis and a crackdown in Hong Kong. China furiously lashed out at Britain today, warning of retaliation after Britain made the extraordinary decision to suspend its extradition treaty for Chinese-ruled Hong Kong.
The ban is another nail in the coffin of what then Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015 cast as a “golden era” of ties with China, the world’s second-largest economy.
As Britain toughens its stance on China due to its handling of the coronavirus and a crackdown in Hong Kong, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in London where he hopes to stiffen Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resolve.
But with Mr Pompeo’s visit to discuss ways to tackle the growing might of China when he meets Mr Johnson on Tuesday, Express.co.uk is asking you should China be banned from UK businesses?
It comes amid a decline in UK-China relations following a number of moves by Britain, including the decision to remove Huawei from its 5G network by 2027, and steps to put Hong Kong residents on a route to UK citizenship.
The arrival of the former US army officer Mr Pompeo comes after the UK not only suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong but also slapped an arms embargo on the territory in response to China’s national security law.
It also comes just a week after London ordered a purge of Huawei gear from the 5G network.
London has been dismayed by the introduction of a national security law in the former British colony, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997, and the perception that China did not tell the whole truth about the coronavirus outbreak.
But there will be growing concerns among UK-based companies such as Burberry, Jaguar Land Rover, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline, which have sizeable interests in China.
China also owns minority stakes in Thames Water and Heathrow airport and China’s state-controlled energy group Cnooc is in charge of a quarter of the UK’s North Sea oil production.
Meanwhile, it is also believed Chinese investments in UK nuclear and energy industry could be under threat amid fast deteriorating relations.
The China Research Group (CRG) is understood to be making attempts to block state-owned China General Nuclear (CGN), which has already invested £3.8billion in to Britain’s nuclear industry, from having involvement in the development of the new Hinkley Point power station.
They are also said to be making attempts to stop the CGN building a new station at Bradwell in Essex.
Iain Duncan Smith is said to have taken a leading role in regulating China General Nuclear’s involvement in the UK, according to the Financial Times.
China said on Tuesday it would respond strongly to Britain’s “immediate and indefinite” suspension of its extradition treaty for Chinese-ruled Hong Kong because of concerns the security legislation could allow cases to be transferred to mainland China.
Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin called on the UK to immediately correct its mistakes.
He said: ”China will make a forceful counter-attack to the UK’s wrong actions.
Mr Wang added that Britain’s moves violated international law and norms.
He said: “China urges the UK to give up its fantasies of continuing colonial influence in Hong Kong and immediately correct its mistakes.”
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