Cybersecurity and UK Democracy - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords am 8:33 pm ar 26 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Baroness Neville-Rolfe Baroness Neville-Rolfe Minister of State (Cabinet Office) 8:33, 26 Mawrth 2024

To answer the noble Viscount’s question, my understanding is that the Chinese ambassador condemned the “groundless accusations”, accused the UK of smearing China and stated that China was a victim of cyberattacks, including from the UK. He warned that China would adopt firm countermeasures in response but gave no further detail. This matches historical responses when we have called people out for hostile cyber activity, but they have not done anything further. I should correct myself; I understand that the meeting was with the chargé d’affaires.

I do not have a lot more to say on our attitude to China. I said that our approach needs to be rooted in our national interest. China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council. It is the second-largest economy in the world and has impacts on global issues of importance, such as climate change. Proportionate action is necessary but I feel that it is right that we have taken the action that we have. We must protect our democracy and our Members of Parliaments—that is, Members in the other place and here. That is an issue that has to be properly tackled, and the Government are determined to do just that.