British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has instructed civil servants to make plans to end the UK's reliance on China for vital medical supplies and other strategic imports in light of the coronavirus outbreak. Report informs citing
The plans, which have been codenamed 'Project Defend,' include identifying Britain's principal economic vulnerabilities to potentially hostile foreign governments as part of a broader new approach to national security. The efforts are being led by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
According to the report, two working groups have been set up as part of the project, with one source telling The Times that the aim was to diversify supply lines to no longer depend on individual countries for non-food essentials.
Johnson told lawmakers he would take steps to protect Britain's technological base, with the government review also expected to include personal protective equipment and drugs, the report added.
The development comes as Beijing has been tackling mounting international criticism over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which began in China before spreading to the rest of the world.