Russian and Chinese state actors have been accused of launching cyber attacks on the UK. Amid these threats, the former civil servant warned Britain had been “naïve” in dealing with the two states. Lord Sedwill, who served as Cabinet Security and National Security Adviser, under Boris Johnson and Theresa May, also claimed the West needs a strong America to lead the Western alliance.
Despite the upcoming election in November, Lord Sedwill also claimed the US-UK relationship remains to be stable and essential for Britain.
When asked by the BBC’s Laura Kuennsberg, Lord Sedwill rejected any idea that either Russia or China had become more aligned to the UK’s political values.
He said: “I think when we’ve allowed the rhetoric to suggest that countries with very different political systems, essentially authoritarian political systems, are edging towards our values and view of the world, then we’ve probably been mistaken and have overstated the natural alignment.”
Lord Sedwill did add, however, that despite the differing in values, the UK should still cooperate with the two countries.
China news: Russia and Beijing have been treated naively he stated
China news: He warned the UK had been naive to certain countries
But he concluded, the UK cannot be “naïve to the underlying nature” of their political systems.
Lord Sedwill left his post last month after announcing his intention to do so in June this year.
He was replaced as Cabinet Secretary by Simon Case, and as National Security Adviser, Lord David Frost – who leads the current Brexit talks.
Tensions between the UK, Russia and China have become frayed this year.
China news: Mr Sedwill served under Boris Johnson and Theresa May
Although the UK has not taken up as an aggressive stance over the coronavirus as the US, tensions have flared over the Hong Kong Security law this year.
In particular, the Hong Kong security law sparked panic within the UK Government over the violations on the agreement concerning the territory.
Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 but both agreed to create the ‘one country, two systems’.
Under this, certain democratic values must be protected in Hong Kong.
Taiwan brands Chinese ‘hooligans’ in Fiji hotel brawl [Latest]
China sends US chilling warning as tensions reach knife edge [Update]
Brexit LIVE: EU must drop THREE demands before Boris Johnson returns [Live blog]
China news: Tensions with the two have become strained
China news: Russia has been accused of cyberattacks
However, with the creation of the security law, some of these values have been violated, thus causing the uproar in the UK.
Following the removal of the extradition treaty with Hong Kong, China warned it could soon become hostile to Britain.
A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in London said: “The UK government keeps making irresponsible remarks on Hong Kong affairs.
“We want to be your friend. We want to be your partner.
“But if you want to make China a hostile country, you will have to bear the consequences.”
Relations also became strained after the Government made the decision to remove certain Huawei kit from the 5G network.
China news: Putin and Jinping
The head of the MI5 also expressed similar fears over Russia and China.
Ken McCallum said attacks from the states had now become more severe and complex.