Mark Dolan: Chinese whispers, are now a shout. We’ve had too much bull from the China shop. It’s no longer China in your hand - we are in theirs.

China is getting too close for comfort.

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China is getting too close for comfort.

News broke on Thursday that the Labour MP and former shadow cabinet minister Barry Gardiner accepted more than £425,000 in donations from a Chinese spy.

MI5 issued an interference alert to MPs about the activities of Christine Lee, Chinese national, a top lawyer who first began making financial contributions to British politicians 17 years ago.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons, sent out the security alert, and said Ms Lee “has been engaged in political interference activities, on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party”, targeting MPs and associated political entities, including a former all-party group on the Chinese community in Britain.

It also emerged that Mr Gardiner had employed Ms Lee’s son, as a diary manager, in his parliamentary office, until he resigned on Thursday.

The role entitled him to a pass, to roam around Parliament.

This woman, with close links to the Chinese communist party, has been on QUITE the journey.

Responsible for much of our critical infrastructure, including three and 4G mobile networks – luckily not 5G any more - the Chinese communist party, also have huge investments in our energy industry - China’s state-owned CGN, has a 20 per cent stake in the proposed Sizewell C nuclear plant in Suffolk.

In fact Chinese investors have amassed nearly £134bn of assets in key UK industries, ranging from energy companies and transport hubs, to breweries and schools.

Nearly 200 British companies are either controlled by groups, or individuals, based in China and Hong Kong.

They have stakes in Heathrow Airport, Northumbrian Water, pub retailer Greene King and Superdrug to name but a few.

China pour millions into our universities – what could be motivating that investment - propaganda and influence, anyone?

They’ve even invested in 17 private schools in this country. China investing in our schools - creepy. Plus they own huge swathes, of commercial and residential property, around the UK.

Chinese investors regularly buy entire apartment complexes, and office blocks, off plan, before they’ve even been built.

They are major investors in the £1.35bn "Walkie Talkie" building in central London and Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool.

They've got money to burn. And of course we are reliant on China for hundreds of billions of pounds worth, of cheap consumer goods.

Clothing, technology, those wretched, environmentally unfriendly facemasks, testing kits and Perspex screens, which are filling our oceans with plastic.

But any attempts to control China, are too little, too late. China's influence on this country, and across the world, is a genie that is now out of the lamp.

China cannot be controlled or dictated to – that ship has passed. And within the next three decades, China will become the world's biggest economic superpower, overtaking America.

The pandemic, and in particular those ruinous experimental and scientifically debatable lockdowns in the US, UK and across Europe, have doubtless accelerated China’s rise.

China has done well out of the pandemic. It has become stronger, as we in the West have become weaker. And what about the coronavirus pandemic, which originated, you guessed it in China.

The lies, cover ups and obfuscation in the early stages of the pandemic, with medics in Wuhan drawing attention to this new virus quite literally disappearing from public life, sowed the seeds for what would be a catastrophic disaster for the world, drawn out over two years and beyond.

We will be paying the health, Societal and economic cost for the rest of our lives. Which is good news to China, who be clear, wish us ill.

The theory that Covid came from a laboratory in Wuhan would've got you cancelled and dismissed as a conspiracy theorist a year ago, but is now considered a likely scenario by the American authorities.

So rather than sucking up to China, and taking them out for dinner in the House of Commons and giving their children plum jobs in parliament, we should be standing up to China and seeking not just answers about Covid, but compensation and contrition for what they have done.

Although the Americans and their esteemed health chief Dr Anthony Fauci may have some responsibility too, if it was US public money that was behind this controversial gain or function research at the lab in Wuhan.

We potentially have a man-made virus, created by the Chinese and paid for by the Americans. Welcome to hell. But armchair critics of America, be careful what you wish for. The United States is a freedom-loving democracy. A global beacon of economic and human liberty.

So when there is an inevitable transfer of power and when the world’s foremost economic superpower is an unelected cabal of ruthless communists, who have total contempt for human rights, free speech and democracy, who preside over a culture of economic and political corruption, the implications for the world are seismic.

The cruelty of this regime knows no bounds, evidenced in the horrific footage of Weger Muslims being carted off to camps to be enslaved, punished and “re-educated”.

Welcome to hell. Which is why great nations like the United States and the United Kingdom have got to understand and identify the threat faced by a country, with which, whether we like it or not, we must do business.

A rogue state it may be, an international bad actor it certainly is, but China is now a necessary evil. And we have to make the relationship work.

But we can only do so if western democracies work together and get stronger together, to face off the bullies of Beijing.

And the answer is for all of us in the Western world to stop squabbling about statues and pronouns and divisive identity politics, and actually deal with this threat from China, by focusing on energy independence, and sensible economic policies that reduce our national debt and generate economic growth, which will pay for not just a better, fairer, happier and healthier society but a safer one too.

Cyber security and defence have been overlooked for too long and seen underinvestment. China, an amazing culture and a fabulous people of over one and a half billion, is led by a consortium of men in grey suits, who have already taken back Hong Kong, they are illegally occupying Tibet against the wishes of its people, and they’ve now got their eyes on Taiwan and who knows where next.

China is here, and here to stay and it’s partly of our own making. Chinese whispers, are now a shout. We’ve had too much bull from the China shop. It’s no longer China in your hand – we are in theirs.