China says it has dismantled UK spying plan

China’s Ministry of State Security said on Monday it had detained two Chinese nationals for allegedly being part of an espionage plan launched by the UK’s secret service MI6.

The Ministry indicated that an employee of a Chinese government agency, surnamed Wang, and a woman surnamed Zhou were detained, according to an official statement published on the social network WeChat.

Chinese authorities accused MI6 of having intervened to ensure that, in 2015, Wang’s application for an exchange program between China and the United Kingdom was approved, allowing the employee to study abroad.

After arriving in the United Kingdom, MI6 organized several activities for Wang, including invitations to dinners and tourist visits, “with the aim of identifying weaknesses and preferences”, the Ministry alleged.

Feeling a “strong inclination for money”, MI6 agents, posing as former students of the university where Wang studied, approached the Chinese citizen and offered him a supposed consultancy opportunity, the statement said. .

MI6 reportedly offered significantly higher remuneration than usual to encourage Wang to participate in public investigative projects, as a pretext to gradually involve him in matters linked to the Chinese government agency where he had worked. , said the Ministry.

In the statement, MI6 is accused of providing “specialist training” in espionage to Wang, who was pressured to return to China and collect confidential information, as well as recruiting the woman.

The Ministry said Wang and Zhou were detained following an investigation that dismantled a “major MI6 espionage operation within the Chinese internal system”, although other investigations related to this case continue.

This announcement came ten days after the British court accused the director of the Hong Kong commercial office in London, Chung Biu Yuen, and another man, Peter Wai Chi Leung, of having helped the authorities in the administrative region Chinese special gathering information in the United Kingdom.

A third suspect, British Matthew Trickett, was also accused in the case, but was found dead on May 19, in a park, under circumstances that the police were unable to explain.

Last year, China revised its anti-espionage law to include “collaboration with espionage organizations and agents” in the espionage category.

In addition to investigations launched in recent months into consulting firms and foreign companies in China, which have raised concerns among the industry and potential foreign investors, the Ministry has also reviewed other legislation to safeguard state secrets.

The organization also reinforced alerts on Chinese social media about the threat posed by “foreign spies”, asking the public to share information about “suspicious activities”.


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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