[Mr Speaker: I call the Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee, Dr Julian Lewis.]
Dr Julian Lewis: As the ISC’s inquiry into China is still current, I shall limit myself to asking why the Government generally describe the communist Chinese system as authoritarian rather than totalitarian, what the Minister’s understanding is of the difference between the two, and whether the Chinese regime took any steps to close down the hacking group APT10, which was denounced in a similarly forceful statement by the then Foreign Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Jeremy Hunt), and our allies in December 2018.
[The Minister for the Middle East and North Africa (James Cleverly): I understand the point that my right hon. Friend makes about the use of language. I am not in a position to have a debate on that specific point, but I make the broader point that the UK Government’s actions, and indeed the actions of our friends and allies around the world, are based on actions whether they be from Russia, China or wherever else, rather than on the narrow definition that may be found in international documents.
The reason that we put out this joint statement and attributed responsibility to state-backed Chinese actors is to let the Chinese Government know, to an extent, that we can tell what they are up to and we will not accept it. That is why taking actions in concert with our international partners is so important and will always be the foundation stone of whatever else we choose to do in response to the behaviour, if it does not change.]