On Tuesday, in a defiant stance against China, Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered all Huawei technology to be stripped out of the UK’s 5G network amid ardent pressure from US President Donald Trump and his own backbench MPs over concerns with ties to the Chinese state. But, Mr Ellwood, who currently serves as Chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, says it is just the first step to controlling the influence of the communist state after Huawei said the move was “bad news” for anyone in the UK and threatened to “move Britain into the digital slow lane”. The Bournemouth East MP says China’s global infrastructure plan, known as the Belt and Road Initiative, is allowing Xi Jinping’s government to silently gain influence over countless countries across the globe as it prepares itself for a World War 3 scenario.
Rolled out in 2013, Moscow became an early partner in the initiative, which has engaged 138 counties and 30 international organisations to date, with Putin himself stating last year that “countries gathering under the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union share long-term strategic interests of peace and growth”.
But Mr Ellwood has strong reservations about the plan.
He told Express.co.uk: “The silence in Russia at the moment is an example of China’s reach.
“There are so many countries that are in debt to China, and China ensnares these countries into their One Belt, One Road project, often with financial packages that they simply can’t afford.
Vladimir Putin was an early supporter of China’s initiative
Boris Johnson stood up to China this week
“These countries will never complain about China.
“Russia recognises that it’s now been superseded from a military perspective, it isn’t friends with the West and therefore is leaning towards China, as indeed is Iran.
“You can see a bi-polar world developing here, the Chinese have no intentions of changing their ways.”
Mr Ellwood, who served in the Royal Green Jackets, has called on international leadership to offer better foreign policy.
He added: “We must re-engage with the United States, liberate them to take a greater role on the International stage.
“We’re in a pandemic right now, where is the international leadership? There is none.
READ MORE: ‘Sputnik moment’ MoD insider demands Boris Johnson ‘WAKES UP’ after Chinese threat
Huawei sent a warning to the UK
“There is a feeling of the Thirties about where we are today. In the sense that we’ve got countries that are pursuing a protectionist, isolationist approach – retreating from global exposure.
“We have a global recession coming over the horizon, a breakdown of international architecture like the United Nations to hold China to account.
“We are in a very dangerous period right now.”
Mr Ellwood says international bodies are losing their grip on China and there must be greater caution taken.
He added: “The military is a tool to be utilised, ultimately it’s the foreign policy that must change, it must be the attitude of how to enforce trading rules.
“The WTO has no teeth to it, the United Nations – because of the veto – is also paralysed as well, so there’s an entire international architecture that needs to be updated.
“That will encourage countries to look to the West, rather than the East, because there will be an alternative.
Coronavirus: Is this PROOF China’s been lying about outbreak? [REVEALED]
‘A stitch-up!’ Scotland braced for 20% MORE funding than England [EXPLAINED]
Coronavirus vaccine to take ‘over 10 years’ as cases surge [ANALYSIS]
Donald Trump has warned Boris Johnson about China
Tobias Ellwood says China’s influence is huge
“Who’s going to build that new highway or train station or nuclear plant? It’s the Chinese offering it at prices no one can refuse.
“Then they realise they can’t afford it and get lured into a debt-trap and become consumed into China’s way of thinking and can’t get out of it.
“We need to provide an alternative.”
Speaking on current situations, Mr Ellwood says now is the time to act as the “veil” of China has been removed for all to see.
He continued: “The Hong Kong situation is an acute illustration of the liberated aggressive approach that China is taking.
“I think the real change in China came during COVID-19 when the veil was removed and it revealed that this impression that China was going to be part of the international western architecture, when actually – all the time – it has been pursuing a very different agenda.
“President Xi has got the job for life and because that facade has dropped it doesn’t care what the rest of the world thinks about it anymore.
Russia has been tight-lipped over recent events
Mr Ellwood said a conventional war is not to be expected
“So they can charge into Hong Kong and change the rules knowing that the West is too weak, too diversified to stand up to it.
“I’m afraid that the next step of advance is in the South China Sea – which they are now dominating – and the one after that will be Taiwan.”
Chillingly, Mr Ellwood predicted that not taking action now could lead to conflict.
He explained: “We must acknowledge that we are in denial of China and its regime actually is and what it wants to do.
“It’s got a very clear determination of where it wants to be in 10, 15 and 20 years time and, at the moment, nobody is there to stop that happening.
“There’s a fundamental question over what the West is going to do, it requires international leadership, it requires one country to point out the obvious and the others to say ‘I agree’ and this debate over Huawei has opened up that opportunity.
“Now is the time to do it on a strategic level with our allies.
“I think there is a genuine concern from them that there will be World War 3.”
But, the Conservative MP warned that the next big war will be unlike anything seen before.
He added: “We are heading towards a conflict, but not in the way that we conventionally think.
“It’s already happened to some degree, political competition, extensive cyberattacks on the UK – you can do far more economic harm by interfering with data or stealing it.
“Us losing our mobile phones for example, for the city of London to not have electricity or take a hit on the financial services or our water systems interfered with, this is the type of warfare we are going to see.
“There may be proxy battles that take place that are more conventional, but we will see satellite systems and the weaponisation of space – this is where I think we will get into very difficult terrain.”