Bishop of St Albans asks about threats to underseas infrastructure

The Bishop of St Albans asked a question on communication with global allies regarding threats to undersea infrastructure on 25th April 2023, referencing recent events in Taiwan:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I was interested to hear the Minister commenting on our engagement with our European allies. However, with reports recently that submarine cables connecting the Taiwanese mainland with the island of Matsu have been cut by Chinese boats, this is an international problem. What consultations are we having with allies around the world; in particular, so that we can try to develop back-up systems when countries are put under threat by this sort of action?

Baroness Goldie (Con): There are two elements to the right reverend Prelate’s question. The first is about the operational resilience of the installations, which is a matter for the owners and operators of the systems. On the second and important point about the vulnerability of such systems to malign attack, we are certainly committed to prepare for, deter and defend against the coercive use of energy and other hybrid tactics by state and non-state actors. The UK was explicit about this at the United Nations Security Council on 30 September last year, where we made it clear, in relation to NATO, that any deliberate attack against allies’ critical national infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response.


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