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Boris ordered to scrap ‘absurd and indefensible’ £68million foreign aid programme in China

Official Government figures show the UK forked out an astonishing £67.8million on a wide range of schemes in China last year. The vast sum of taxpayers’ money sent in 2019 was also an increase of more than £12million on the previous year, when £55.6million was transferred to the world’s largest economy. The UK’s relationship with China has increasingly been under the microscope in recent months, with tensions rising over Hong Kong, tech giant Huawei and alleged human rights abuses against China’s Uighur ethnic group.

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The UK Government has said it is in the “national interest” to support projects in China but insisted it ended a bilateral aid programme to China in 2011.

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However, a poll of more than 3,000 Express.co.uk readers has found the Westminster Government should go further and also scrap its aid development programme.

The survey conducted on Saturday, September 26 between 9.54am and 6.30pm asked 3,298 Express.co.uk readers, should the UK scrap its £68million aid programme with China?

A huge 98.2 percent (3,241) of people thought the UK should stop sending aid to Beijing and voted yes.

The UK should scrap its £68 million development aid programme with China, a poll has found (Image: GETTY)

More than 98 percent of readers said the UK should scrap the payment to China (Image: PA)

Just 1.4 percent (48) of those asked thought the UK should continue sending funds to China and voted no.

Meanwhile, 0.6 percent (9) of respondents remained unsure and said they did not know.

A number of Express.co.uk readers let their feeling known in the comments section.

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One reader said: “This is utterly absurd and indefensible.

China recieved £68 million from the UK for overseas development projects in 2019 (Image: GETTY)

“It and many other ‘aid’ handouts should have been stopped decades ago.”

Another user wrote: “What an appalling waste of taxpayers’ money.”

A third commented: “Of course he should! Why were we giving it in the first place?”

Meanwhile, a fourth simply said: “We should never have given them a penny in the first place, utter madness.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping has been in power since 2013 (Image: GETTY)

The vast sums of money went on a number of initiatives, including work to get China to stop animal testing, help those in the poorest areas spend their money more effectively and investigating air pollution in Beijing.

A further breakdown reveals £200,000 was sent to help improve China’s economy and “address market failures and weaknesses” to help it perform better.

An additional £500,000 was spent on “supporting democracy and human rights” in China.

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Tensions between the UK and China has worsened since the outbreak of COVID-19 (Image: EXPRESS)

A Government spokesman said: “The UK is a force for good in the world, helping to solve global challenges while protecting our national interests.

“UK aid is focused on responding to humanitarian crises, including lifesaving support to Yemen, helping the poorest billion in developing countries and improving global health by tackling deadly diseases.

“We ended our traditional bilateral aid programme to China in 2011 and now offer the country expertise and skills to help tackle global issues like climate change, which is firmly in the UK national interest.”

Source:Daily Express :: World Feed

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