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Government’s response to Beijing lacking, Dowden to unveil sanctions

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TLDR:

  • Chinese state-affiliated hackers targeted the Electoral Commission and MPs in cyberattacks.
  • UK announces sanctions on a Chinese company linked to the attacks.

British Deputy Prime Minister, Oliver Dowden, revealed in the House of Commons that individuals and a company associated with the Chinese state were responsible for malicious cyber campaigns against the Electoral Commission and UK parliamentary accounts in 2021 and 2022. The UK responded by sanctioning the company involved in the attacks. However, several MPs, including Sir Iain Duncan Smith, expressed disappointment with the sanctions, citing China’s alleged transgressions of international law including slave labor and genocide.

The Chinese embassy in London denied the cyberattack allegations, calling them “completely fabricated and malicious slanders.” Dowden also mentioned that the UK’s allies, including the United States, will issue similar statements to hold China accountable for its hostile activities against democracies.

In response to the underwhelming sanctions, MPs raised concerns about the government’s approach towards China’s threats and the need for stronger action. The UK aims to warn about the threat posed by China and will continue to sanction actors attempting to threaten democratic institutions.


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