Tom Tugendhat and Neil O’Brien: “About the China Research Group”
The China Research Group [has been] set up by a group of Conservative MPs in the UK to promote debate and fresh thinking about how Britain should respond to the rise of China. The group’s work looks beyond the immediate Coronavirus crisis or issues relating to Huawei, with the aim of considering the longer term challenges and opportunities associated with the rise of China and its industrial and diplomatic policies.
- China’s industrial policy. How China’s trade policy, state aid and strategic inward investments are shaping the world, not just the UK.
- Technology futures. How the development, ownership and regulation of platform technologies that underpin future economic growth and innovation are being influenced.
- Chinese foreign policy. The effects of “Belt and Road”, China’s main objectives, and where these align or clash with ours. How to understand Chinese soft power as well as hard power.
The CRG aims to promote understanding, leading to fresh thinking about issues raised by the rise of China, and provide a trustworthy source of news and informed knowledge on China issues. It seeks to promote greater debate about the huge challenges thrown up by the way China competes in the world.
This group will also explore opportunities to engage with and work with Chinese people, companies and government.
Who is involved?
The group is led by Tom Tugendhat MP and Neil O’Brien MP. They lead a committee which consists of Dehenna Davison MP, Anthony Browne MP, Laura Trott MP, Kevin Hollinrake MP, Alicia Kearns MP, Andrew Bowie MP and Damian Green MP.
The research team, Julia Pamilih and Chris Cash, are responsible for the day-to-day running of the group.
What does the CRG do?
- Newsletter: A daily press summary and weekly review which brings together key China news and analysis.
- Events: Regular public seminars, inviting leading thinkers and politicians from across the world to discuss issues related to China.
- Research: Publishing original research and analysis on UK-China relations.
- Dialogue: The CRG maintains an active dialogue with people and organisations in the UK and abroad who are involved in UK-China relations.
We are currently expanding our research output. We are always keen to hear from anyone who may wish to contribute or is involved in UK-China relations. Want to get in touch? Contact us.New: Statement on sanctions against the China Research Group
A message from Tom Tugendhat and Neil O’Brien on the decision to sanction the China Research Group.
Statement on sanctions against the China Research Group
Ultimately this is just an attempt to distract from the international condemnation of Beijing’s increasingly grave human rights violations against the Uyghurs. This is a response to the coordinated sanctions agreed by democratic nations on those responsible for human rights abuses in Xinjiang. This is the first time Beijing has targeted elected politicians in the UK with sanctions and shows they are increasingly pushing boundaries.
It is tempting to laugh off this measure as a diplomatic tantrum. But in reality it is profoundly sinister and just serves as a clear demonstration of many of the concerns we have been raising about the direction of China under Xi Jinping. Other mainstream European think tanks have also been sanctioned this week and it is telling that China now responds to even moderate criticism with sanctions, rather than attempting to defend its actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
As British legislators this will not actually affect us hugely, but the point of Beijing’s actions is to make others feel threatened, and to have a chilling effect on business people in particular. The sanctions come in a week where yet more Western businesses are discovering that China is becoming a dangerous place to do business, with H&M and others facing huge financial losses because their statements supporting basic human rights have offended an increasingly nationalistic and unpredictable Communist party.
The China Research Group has been trying to understand contemporary China better. One of our growing concerns has been that under Xi China has been moving away from a path of openness and cooperation and towards a path of increasing nationalism and aggression. This latest sinister attempt to shut down debate even within established democracies sadly just underlines those concerns.
As so often with Beijing, these sanctions are deliberately vaguely defined. Depending on what they mean by sanctioning the entire China Research Group, more than 100 UK MPs who have participated in our work and events could theoretically be covered by this, including senior members of every major UK political party.
Tom Tugendhat and Neil O’Brien
China Research Group26 March 2021
BBC 2021 “Who are the Uighurs and why is China being accused of genocide?” https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-22278037