UK ministers consider limiting investment in China


The British government is currently considering whether to replicate US President Joe Biden’s initiative to limit investment in advanced technology companies based in China.

From government ministers and company chiefs to individual consumers, those in the UK assessing their portfolio often seek expert investment advice in Chester, London and other financial hubs. Wealth managers are often relied on to explain the implications, risks and returns involved in adding overseas assets to portfolios.

The UK’s assessment comes at a time when Western nations are seeking to find a balance between safeguarding national security and the economic necessity of trade with China. President Biden recently signed an executive order designed to regulate America’s investment in some Chinese-based firms involved in fields such as semiconductors, artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing. The measures have arisen amid fears that the national knowhow transferred through joint ventures, among other financing arrangements which involve US firms in China, are assisting to accelerate the indigenisation of the three areas of technology.

In a recent statement issued soon after US President’s announcement, the UK government stated that Biden’s order provided clarity on America’s approach. Later, a spokesperson for PM Rishi Sunak’s government commented:

“The UK will consider these new measures closely as we continue to assess potential national security risks attached to some investments.”

Along with many other European nations, Britain has been attempting to navigate the appropriate response to the changing ties between China and the US. Biden has faced pressures from China hawks demanding tougher action and the Treasury Department requesting narrower measures that take longer to initiate.

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