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The minister admitted it was “possible” that China had flown a reconnaissance balloon over Britain as the government launched a security review amid renewed concerns over the state’s actions.
Richard Holden said sky news The government was “concerned” about reports that US forces shot down several suspected Chinese spy balloons on US territory.
He said it was “possible” that such an object flew over Britain and described China as a “hostile state”.
“Here in the UK we have seen Russia poison Salisbury and other actions. I think we have to be realistic about the threat these countries pose to Britain.”
“They are not interested in our democratic values. They are not interested in standing up for human rights around the world we are in.”
China has previously claimed that the suspected object, over 200 feet tall and flying at an altitude of 120,000 feet, was a civilian weather balloon that was flown off course.
At least four people have been confirmed in US and Latin American territories since the beginning of February, according to the US government.
He emphasized that the UK has taken in more than 100,000 people from Hong Kong fleeing persecution in China. He also expressed concern about China’s treatment of Uyghurs.
“China is a hostile country, and we need to be aware of that and what China does and behaves,” Holden said. We are clearly not going in that direction, and we have to be very firm in our dealings with China.”
Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace said the government would begin a security review after a US fighter jet shot down the latest unidentified object on Sunday.
“The UK and its allies will consider what intrusion into these airspaces means for our security,” he said. “This development is another sign that the global threat landscape is getting worse.”
last month, I revealed that a hidden Chinese tracking device had been found in a British government vehicle, sparking renewed concern over the country’s actions in the UK.
At least one SIM card capable of transmitting location data was found in a sweep of government and diplomatic vehicles, creating an “obstruction,” a security source confirmed.
Sources said the geolocating device was placed on the vehicle inside a sealed piece that was imported from a Chinese supplier and installed by the automaker.
A Chinese official dismissed the revelations as “absolutely unsubstantiated rumors,” adding, “We firmly oppose any political manipulation of normal economic and trade cooperation and any slander of Chinese companies.”