Britain’s new prime minister warned on Tuesday that China was the biggest threat to the country and the world, and outlined plans to close controversial Chinese cultural institutions that critics say promote Beijing’s propaganda. and are used to influence activities.

Former Treasury chief Rishi Shank, 42, became the youngest prime minister in modern British history on Tuesday following the resignation of Conservative Prime Minister Liz Truss last week.

Mr Sink said in a series of tweets that the UK’s 30 Confucius Institutes, most of which are Chinese government-run facilities located on British university campuses, should be closed under his government’s new China policies. will

“Almost all of the UK government’s spending on Mandarin language education in schools is funded by university-based Confucius Institutes, promoting Chinese soft power,” Mr Sink said.

Mr Sink also said he would seek a new alliance of independent nations to counter Chinese cyber threats and improve technology security, a major target of Chinese covert and overt acquisitions.

He said Britain’s MI5 domestic intelligence service would also be given expanded powers to help British businesses and universities combat Chinese industrial espionage, and the British government would freeze key British assets, including high-end high-tech firms, from China. Will try to protect purchases.

“We will work with the government and security services to create a toolkit to help companies protect their intellectual property,” he said.

A report published in June by the China Research Group found that the UK’s 30 Confucius Institutes now represent the largest number operating in a single country. About $31 million of the UK spends on Mandarin-language education in schools is funded by university-based Confucius Institutes, the report said.

During the Trump administration, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo worked to push for the closure of 118 Confucius Institutes at American universities.

As of June 2022, 104 Confucius Institutes had closed and four others were in the process of closing, Voice of America reported. However, some Confucius Institutes are being replaced by similar language institutes.

In July, MI5 director-general Ken McCallum said in a speech alongside FBI director Christopher Wray that the Chinese Communist Party was engaged in “aggression” and posed a “massively shared challenge”.

“The most game-changing challenge we face comes from the Chinese Communist Party,” Mr McCallum said. “It’s secretly pressing all over the world. It may feel abstract. But it’s real and it’s pressing. We need to talk about it. We need to act.”

He said China’s spies and agents of influence are “running a patient, well-funded, deceptive campaign to buy and use influence.”

Mr Sink, the son of Indian immigrant parents, came to power promising to reverse Ms Truss’s tax-cutting agenda and began forming his cabinet on Tuesday. It will include party moderate Jeremy Hunt, who remains in the key financial post of chancellor of the exchequer.

James Cleverly will be appointed Foreign Secretary alongside Defense Secretary Ben Wallace. Sylla Braverman was reinstated as home secretary last week after resigning over a security breach.

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