US Congress delegation urges Britain to ‘work hand in hand’ with Washington to combat threat.
MAY 17, 2023
The delegation will be led by Mike Gallagher, the Republican chairman of the U.S. Congress select committee on the Chinese Communist Party | Alex Wong/Getty Images
LONDON — A delegation of U.S. lawmakers will visit London on Thursday to lobby British politicians, officials and U.K. based-tech firms to take a harder line on China.
A 10-strong bipartisan group from the U.S. Congress will spend three days in Britain meeting U.K. government ministers, officials and backbench MPs to discuss a common approach to hostile activities by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The delegation will be led by Mike Gallagher, the Republican chairman of the U.S. Congress select committee on the Chinese Communist Party. He has previously described the CCP as “the greatest geopolitical threat of our lifetime.”
The group’s agenda includes a Friday morning discussion on China hosted by the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), a group of China-skeptic British MPs. The U.S. lawmakers also expect to hold meetings with representatives from London-based technology firms including Google DeepMind and Arm. A security event co-hosted by the right-wing think tanks the Reagan National Defense Forum and the Henry Jackson Society has also been arranged.
“CCP aggression is global, and the United States and United Kingdom face common economic, military and ideological threats posed by the CCP,” Gallagher told POLITICO in a statement.
“For the sake of both our nations and the sake of the free world, we must work hand in hand to stand up to CCP tech theft, United Front work, transnational repression and flagrant violations of our sovereignty.”
The visit comes at an important moment, with the U.K. government’s Procurement Bill making its way through parliament. China hawks on the Tory backbenches are increasingly optimistic the government will accept a series of amendments aimed at tackling China’s growing dominance in the tech sector.
The U.S. lawmakers also aim to “deepen strategic relationships with the U.K. and other allies” with a view to “Indo-Pacific security dynamics,” a spokesperson for the committee said.
Luke de Pulford, executive director of IPAC, said “cross-party transatlantic dialogue on China has never been more important.”
“While both the Trump and Biden administrations said they wanted it, that dialogue didn’t really materialise. This is an opportunity to start putting that right: sharing ideas and concerns and about the behaviour of China under Xi Jinping, and, for IPAC U.K., it’s a chance to underline progress made over here,” he said.
The Chinese embassy in the U.K. did not respond to a request for comment.