The government has agreed to provide annual reports to Parliament regarding the removal of Chinese CCTV cameras from “sensitive” public buildings.
On Monday, Peers attempted to ensure that suppliers involved in forced organ harvesting would be disqualified from receiving public contracts by reintroducing a clause to the Procurement Bill. Lord Hunt of Kings Heath proposed an amendment that was supported by the Lords with a vote of 156 to 151. The amendment allows decision makers to exclude suppliers found to be involved in forced organ harvesting or in any activities related to it. The amendment also provides a definition of forced organ harvesting as the killing of a person without their consent for the purpose of removing and transplanting their organs into another person.
Lord Hunt emphasized the necessity of his amendment, underscoring that the government’s policy toward China is inadequate to address the threats posed to the United Kingdom’s interests. The bill is currently in the “ping pong” stage of the legislative process, where it goes back and forth between the Commons and the Lords for minor adjustments. It is likely that the clause will be removed or watered down in later stages.
Additionally, the bill previously removed a provision in February that targeted Chinese surveillance camera brands, including Hikvision and Dahua, known for their involvement in mass surveillance, including in labor camps in Xinjiang. These companies, like all organizations in China, are subject to the regime’s national security law, which requires support and cooperation with national intelligence efforts, raising security concerns. Lord Alton of Liverpool’s amendment aimed to require ministers to publish a timeline for removing Chinese surveillance cameras from all public buildings, potentially involving tens of thousands of cameras. Although the clause was removed, the government later agreed to publish a timeline for removing these cameras from “sensitive central government sites.”