Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

Intelligence agency says female Chinese citizens ‘engaged in political interference activities’ on behalf of Beijing.

The UK’s Home Intelligence Service has warned that a woman suspected of working for China’s ruling Communist Party is trying to unduly influence members of the UK Parliament, according to officials.

In a note issued to MPs on Thursday, the office of Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the House of Commons, said that MI5 had found that the woman was “involved in political interference activities on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party”.

Hoyle’s letter added that the Chinese citizen, whose whereabouts were unknown, spoke to lawmakers and “facilitated financial donations to serving and aspiring parliamentarians on behalf of foreign nationals in Hong Kong and China.”

There were no immediate comments from the Chinese government.

MI5’s own interference warning, circulated to MPs, said anyone contacted by the woman should “be aware of her affiliation” and his “mandate to advance the CCP’s agenda”.

Iain Duncan Smith, a former leader of the UK’s ruling Conservative Party, told parliament on Thursday that the matter was a “matter of serious concern”.

He called for the woman to be deported and demanded that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government make a statement to the Commons on the matter.

Duncan Smith was punished by China for highlighting alleged human rights violations in the country’s northwestern Xinjiang region.

Weakening relationships

Tobias Ellwood, a fellow Conservative lawmaker and former Secretary of Defense, also asked for a government statement to the Commons.

“This is the kind of gray zone interference we now expect and expect from China,” he said. “But the fact that it happened to this Parliament, there must be a sense of urgency from this government.”

The UK’s relations with China have deteriorated over the past few years over issues, including the latter’s sharpening of its grip on Hong Kong and the situation in Xinjiang, where Beijing is accused of at least one million Uighurs, a largely Muslim ethnic group. , held in internment camps. .

Last year, MI5 urged British citizens to deal with the threat of espionage from Russia, China and Iran with as much vigilance as “terrorism”.

British spies say China and Russia have each sought to steal commercially sensitive data and intellectual property, as well as interfering in domestic politics and sowing misinformation.

the United Kingdom in February 2021 expel three suspected Chinese spies, who according to MI5 pretended to be journalists, but actually worked for China’s Ministry of State Security.

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