China energy crisis to spark ‘social unrest’ as Beijing scrambles to power coal stations
China energy crisis: Expert discusses possible ‘social unrest’
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China faces possible “social unrest” as a result of Beijing’s handling of the country’s energy crisis, according to France 24. Beijing is struggling to secure more coal reserves to power the populous northeast which is home to nearly 100 million people and which is undergoing the worst power shortages in years. France 24 Correspondent Charles Pellegrin warned that moves to increase the cost of energy for Chinese households could spark a backlash against Xi Jinping’s regime if living standards decline.
Mr Pellegrin told France 24: “There are actually some reports from Bloomberg saying that Beijing is also thinking about raising the price of electricity for domestic consumers, for households.
“This could have some pretty interesting ramifications because raising the price of electricity for households could eventually down the line lead to inflation and inflation in its turn leads to lowering living standards.
“Further down the line lowering living standards leads to social unrest.
“Social stability is a huge consideration for the authorities here in Beijing.
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“Because stability means no one is questioning their leadership.
“So they are faced here with a bit of a tough situation.
“Because they have made these environmental targets, peak carbon by 2030, Zero Carbon by 2060.
“But they still need to keep the lights on.”
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It comes as Chinese and Hong Kong firms with interests in UK-based utility companies have been slammed for hovering up profits off UK taxpayers amid “exorbitant” energy fees.
The Henry Jackson Society’s Sam Armstrong has warned that profits made of the UK’s energy grid are getting back to China.
He added that in the end, the ownership model of Britain’s energy sector means that Beijing holds the power to one day “switch off the lights!”
Mr Armstrong told Express.co.uk “No matter where you are in the country, unbeknownst to you the utility companies you pay for, that once upon a time would have been owned by the British taxpayer, are now likely to be owned by, at least to an extent, a Chinese or Hong Kong firm.
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“Now in the past, that mattered less.
“China’s desire was to grow economically and Hong Kong was an independent province with strong links to the UK.
“But increasing as China becomes a more and more authoritarian country that is challenging us around the world, that begs the question, could they switch off the lights?
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