HJS Report Launch: Safeguarding our Systems Managing Chinese Investment into the UK’s Digital and Critical National Infrastructure


TIME:  18:00-19:00, 18th July 2017
VENUE: Committee Room 13, House of Commons,

Houses of Parliament, SW1A 0AA

Chair: Catherine West MP

John Hemmings
Director of the Asia Studies Centre at The Henry Jackson Society

Dr. Sam Beatson

Senior economic & financial analyst with a specialty in East Asian business and corporate governance

To register your interest, or for any further information, please email
rsvp2@henryjacksonsociety.org, stating clearly whether you are a member of HJS.

Please note that you will need to receive a confirmation email to be able to attend the event.


Chinese outbound investment is growing rapidly across advanced economies in the West. Germany’s recent decision to tighten up control over foreign take-overs of key national industries indicates the seriousness with which even the most liberal states view the surge in Chinese acquisitiveness. While the UK welcomes inward bound foreign direct investment to help with our post-Brexit economy, we must not forget security considerations. Large-scale Chinese buy-outs of strategic high-tech firms in Germany, national infrastructure in Australia, and telecoms firms in Canada are driving a debate among Western allies on the need to balance economic growth with national security concerns. As the debate over Hinkley Point revealed in the summer of 2016, the idea of a non-democracy accessing Britain’s critical national infrastructure and cutting-edge dual-use is a risky one. Currently, in the wake of a number of key buy-outs of sensitive companies, political leaders in Brussels, Canberra, and Washington are beginning to consider more stringent reviews of Chinese investments into these key sectors. Some like the United States and Australia already have processes in place, which the UK might usefully examine before creating its own regime.

To mark the launch of a new report into Chinese Investment into the UK’s Digital and Critical National Infrastructure, The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to an event with our Director of the Asia Studies Centre, John Hemmings  who will assess at the state of Chinese foreign direct investment into sensitive areas of the British economy, using three case studies to build a snapshot of what is taking place. John will also review different investment regimes around the world in order to suggest some models for the UK to consider.


JHJohn Hemmings is Director of the Asia Studies Centre at The Henry Jackson Society. He is also a non-resident Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Pacific Forum CSIS, and previously worked at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). Mr. Hemmings’ research focuses on security, political and economic trends in East Asia and the wider Asia Pacific. He is the author of a number of academic articles, book chapters, policy reports and opinion pieces, and regularly contributes commentary to major international media outlets, including The BBC, The Telegraph, CNN, The National Interest, The RUSI Journal, and The Diplomat.


Dr Sam Beatson is an applied financial data scientist (econometrician) and qualitative researcher with a specialty in China. He received his Ph.D. at Nottingham University School of Contemporary Chinese Studies under the Economics & Finance professors of the School’s Research Centre for Banking & Finance. He has been working with big data financial and ownership datasets from the Chinese stock market listed companies for more than five years, analyzing accounting, ownership, corporate governance and financial market performance data. He has also collected and thematically analysed 25 practitioner interviews in the Greater China region, discerning the preferences of foreign investors in the Chinese stock market from their positions, data from company characteristics and from the fund managers themselves. He has taught Masters Students in Chinese finance and business in addition to empirical methodology, analysis & interpretation and was the recipient of a prestigious award for his teaching at Nottingham. He held a Fellowship for two years at the Lau China Institute, King’s College London and is the Managing Director in Statisi Ltd, a public sector and commercial economic consulting company, and the Chair of the Smart Societies Institute.

 In his consulting career, Sam was the principal econometrician and project coordinator responsible for costing and modelling for the refresh of the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) formula for the NHS executive during 2015/16 financial year, answerable to the Head of Analytical Finance, Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA) and the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and senior economist to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), conducting peer review and oversight of analysts working on the South Offshore Marine plans during 2015. More recently, Sam was a thought leader and subject matter expert in the Digital Trust and Ethics conference series organized by the Corsham Institute in collaboration with RAND Europe. He has subsequently been made a founding Leadership Fellow of St George’s House, Windsor Castle. Sam has presented his Chinese financial papers at the University of Hong Kong, where he holds a lifetime membership at St John’s College, the University of Gothenburg, London Metropolitan University and the University of Nottingham. He has presented on big data management and ethics in data science at Sun Yat Sen Medical School, Guangzhou. He is currently working on a project entitled ‘The Colour of Chinese Money’ for which two workshops were recently held in Canberra and London. Sam and his research have recently been featured in the Telegraph, South China Morning Post, China-US Focus, China Daily (Hong Kong edition), Financial Times and BBC Business News.


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