Home U.K. Half of Britons boycotting Chinese goods as anger over coronavirus mounts

Half of Britons boycotting Chinese goods as anger over coronavirus mounts

Coronavirus originated in China, with the first cases being reported to the World Health Organisation in December. Beijing has been accused of initially covering up the spread of the outbreak and is refusing to allow independent investigations into how the epidemic began.

According to a MailOnline survey, conducted by Redfield & Wilton, 49 percent of Britons are now boycotting at least some Chinese products.

Of these 33 percent said they were “somewhat” avoiding China produced goods whilst another 16 percent “always” stick to the rule.

The other 51 percent said they were not shunning Chinese products.

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There is also widespread support for tariffs on Chinese goods if it would encourage goods to be made in the UK, with two thirds of those surveyed supporting such a move.

Relations between Britain and China have deteriorated sharply over Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and its treatment of Hong Kong.

Before Hong Kong, a former British colony, was handed back to China in 1997 Beijing pledged to allow Hong Kong significant autonomy for 50 years until 2047.

However the UK sees new Chinese security laws, which would make it much easier for Hong Kong dissidents to be pursued and imprisoned, as a violation of this agreement.

In 2019 hundreds of thousands of people in Hong Kong took part in pro-democracy protestors which sometimes ended in clashes with police.

READ MORE: ‘Boycott China!’ – 97% tell Boris Johnson to block goods

The MailOnline survey also found seven out of ten Britons would be prepared to pay for goods if it makes the country less reliant on China.

Only 9 percent disagree with another 18 percent being neutral.

The Government is currently coming under increasing pressure to deny Huawei, a Chinese firm with links to Beijing, any role in the UK’s 5G network over spying fears.

In January Huawei was dubbed a “high-risk vendor” limiting its involvement within the network but there are now calls for it to be stopped altogether.

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