We should be in a stand-off with China, says Iain Duncan Smith

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Senior Tory MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith has said the UK should be imposing economic sanctions on China, following claims that the country has hacked the Ministry of Defence.

Sir Iain said he believed there was conflict within Whitehall about how to handle China but warned the country’s purpose was to ‘destroy democracy’ and the country needs to ‘take it on.’

Speaking on GB News, Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: “My view on this is very clearly that I think there is a bit of confliction inside the government. I think the Foreign Office is very opposed to taking on China, because of business and all the other reasons they give.

“I think in places like defence, they are wanting to name names and to start squaring up to China on this. So, the reality is that our problem starts with the integrated review. When Rishi Sunak was trying to be Prime Minister, he said they were a ‘systemic threat.’

“When we got the integrator review refreshed it turned out that they were in fact an ‘epoch defining challenge’.

“The brilliant thing about it was we were going to meet that challenge with a ‘robust pragmatism’. Now that sounds like a scriptwriter of Yes, Prime Minister had got in.

“I argued endlessly that you have to claim that they are a threat. They are a threat. They know they’re a threat. Everybody else knows that. The Americans know they’re a threat. They were responsible for Covid, so you don’t get a much bigger threat than that.

“Clearly overnight, somebody from the MOD briefed that they knew that it was more likely than not that it was China – they were the malign actor. And then in the morning, the government got worried that that would be done on the basis they don’t have the full facts.

“So the truth is, it’s almost certainly China, after all I think the FBI described China as having the biggest cyber warfare unit in the world, dwarfing everybody else’s including their own.

“There are malign. They have a purpose in life, which is to destroy democracy, human rights, and freedom. They are against democracy completely and they’ve made it clear from the beginning their purpose in life is to destroy those elements and return the world to autocracy.

“That is their plan, and we need to take it on.

“I just made the point also, that it was nearly two years ago that the American services told us – secretly – that China had hacked the Electoral Commission and was hacking a large number of MPs.

“It took us a year and a half to finally come back to the despatch box and accept that there was China that did it. And I think the reason why they don’t want to do this, is because what follows next must be sanctions. And sanctions mean when you are in a standoff with China. And that has to be the case. America is already in that position; we should be in the same.”

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