The Guardian has learned that the Chinese government owns a substantial network of British real estate through obscure offshore countries like Luxembourg and the Isle of Man, raising concerns about Beijing’s grip on British supply chain connections.
China’s investment division is revealed to be the owner of more than 250 homes in Britain through dozens of businesses, according to disclosures made as part of a new government record of properties held by offshore corporations.
The transportation of food and goods in various regions of the UK, such as the South West and South East of England and the Midlands, depends on distribution centers.
The China Investment Corporation (CIC), which oversees the PRC’s foreign exchange reserves and is the ultimate owner of all properties, is the legal owner of all real estate.
Given that certain records are missing, it is likely that CIC wasted substantially more money than the £580 million suggested by Land Registry records. The size and specifics of CIC’s purchases had stayed hidden up until this point even though it was well known for investing in UK real estate thanks to the usage of numerous offshore entities.
The document, which clarifies the specifics, states that CIC targeted commercial areas, business parks, and distribution centres, some of which are essential to the regional infrastructure.
Concerns and disagree medisagreementse administration have resulted from Chinese investment in the UK. While some MPs applaud the inflow of cash into the country, others have voiced security worries over China’s and Chinese corporations’ involvement in vital assets.
Beijing criticized the government’s decision to exclude Huawei from Britain’s 5G mobile infrastructure by 2027, issued in 2020, calling it “unfounded”. The government is also callous regarding China General Nuclear’s plans to buy out CGN’s investment in the proposed Sizewell C project to take part in the construction of a new nuclear power station.
The previous leader of the Conservative Party, Iain Duncan Smith, expressed concern about how “disguised” a lot of foreign firms’ investments are. He compared it to the attempted takeover of the British technological firm Newport Wafer Fab, which at first seemed to target a Dutch business before its eventual Chinese ownership was made known.
Finally, for reasons of security, the public authorities made the arrangement more difficult.
Duncan Smith, chair of the International Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, adds that it is occasionally necessary to find out who the company’s owners are.
“The question of why they are doing it arises given their ability to purchase so much and the fact that they all appear to be crucial links in the supply chain. It demonstrates the need for a strategic examination of the total amount of Chinese investment in critical UK sectors like supply chains, technology, and institutions. We are far too receptive to Chinese commercial interests.