UK PM Boris Johnson orders an end to reliance on Chinese imports

Boris Johnson has ordered civil servants to put an end to the UK's dependence on essential medical supplies and other necessary imports from China.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered civil servants to put an end to the UK's dependence on essential medical supplies and other necessary imports from China following recent struggles tied to the coronavirus outbreak.

The national security plans have been named “Project Defend” and include finding Britain’s economic weak spots that could be vulnerable to foreign governments that may be potentially hostile. The project is being overseen by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, according to Financial Post.

One report noted that there have been two working groups put in place in order to diversify supply lines so the country can be less dependent on specific nations when it comes to non-food essentials.

When speaking to lawmakers, Johnson said he wants to keep the country's technological base protected and the government review will also be expected to involve drugs and personal protective equipment.

The other “Five Eyes” nations members also rely on China for essential goods as can be seen in this study. The alliance is made up of Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

The members depend on China for 831 categories of imports including consumer electronics such as laptops and phones.

Canada depends on China for 87.5 percent of its laptops and for 77.6 percent of its mobile phones while the UK depends on China for 67.6 percent of its laptops and 61.2 percent of its mobile phones.

These measures follow increasing criticism against Beijing after its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.