IPAC Newsletter 01 October 2021

CHINA’S DEBT TRAP DIPLOMACY EXPOSED: A new study from AidData finds that the Belt and Road Initiative traps poor nations with $385 billion of ‘hidden debt’, with more than a third of projects hit by alleged corruption scandals and local protests. IPAC Australia Senator Kimberley Kitching called on democratic states to offer an alternative for global infrastructure needs, in an interview with BBC World News.

UK SET TO REMOVE CHINA STATE NUCLEAR GROUP: The UK government plans to force the sale of shares owned by China General Nuclear Group in a proposed new nuclear plant. The move comes after IPAC co-chairs Sir Iain Duncan-Smith MP and Baroness Helena Kennedy led cross-party calls for a ban on Chinese state owned firms involved in UK nuclear power. Sky News.

CHINA AMBASSADOR WARNS BELGIAN MPs ON HONG KONG ADVOCACY: The Chinese Ambassador in Brussels has written to the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee and IPAC MP Els Van Hoof warning MPs not to pass a motion condemning Hong Kong’s National Security Law. The motion, co-authored by IPAC MP Samuel Cogolati, calls for sanctions on Chinese government officials responsible for the crackdown and a review of Belgium’s “economic dependency” on China for critical infrastructure. De Morgen

AUSTRALIA DEBATES URGENT LEGISLATION TO COUNTER CYBER THREAT: Australia’s Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, chaired by IPAC Senator James Paterson, has tabled a report recommending urgent legislation to counter looming threats against critical infrastructure. The report cited cyber-threats from China and other authoritarian regimes. Link to report.