© Reuters. Outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in London
(Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has instructed officials to plan to end Britain’s dependence on China for major medical supplies and other strategic imports in light of the outbreak of coronavirus, the newspaper reported The Times on Friday https: //
The plans, codenamed ‘Project Defend’, include identifying Britain’s most important financial vulnerabilities to potentially hostile foreign governments as part of a broader new approach to national security, the newspaper reported, adding that the effort is being led by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
Two working groups have been set up as part of the project, according to the report, with a source telling The Times that the goal was to diversify supply lines to no longer depend on individual non-food countries.
Johnson told lawmakers he would take steps to protect Britain’s technological base, and the government audit is also expected to include personal protective equipment and drugs, the report added.
The development comes as Beijing has tackled the mounting international criticism of its handling of the coronavirus outbreak that began in China before it spread to the rest of the world. [nL3N2C90NI]
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