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China’s top spy agency says it has exposed British espionage case

Written by The Anand Market

Updated on:

BEIJING (Reuters) – China said its security agencies had uncovered another espionage incident in which British intelligence, also known as MI6, used a foreigner in China to collect secrets and information.

The China case highlights the ongoing heated exchanges between the countries following accusations of espionage perceived to threaten their respective national security.

China’s Ministry of State Security revealed on its WeChat social media account on Monday that a foreigner, identified only by his surname Huang, was the head of an overseas consulting agency, and in 2015, MI6 established a “cooperative intelligence relationship” with this individual.

After that, M16 asked Huang to enter China several times and asked him to use his public identity as a cover to collect China-related intelligence for British espionage, the statement said.

MI6 also arranged professional intelligence training for Huang in Britain and elsewhere, and provided special spy equipment for intelligence exchanges, the Chinese government said.

“After careful investigation, state security organs quickly discovered evidence of Huang’s involvement in espionage activities and took criminal coercive measures against him,” the government said.

The consulting agency was not disclosed by the Chinese government.

Meanwhile, the British government says Chinese spies are targeting its officials in sensitive positions in politics, defense and business, as part of an increasingly sophisticated spying operation aimed at gaining access to secrets.

Recently, a British Parliament researcher denied that he was a Chinese spy.

China has repeatedly condemned the claims, with the Foreign Ministry spokesperson declaring them “totally unfounded”.

“We urge the UK to stop spreading disinformation and end political manipulation and malicious slander against China,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said when asked at the a press briefing.

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China has cracked down on perceived threats to its national security, revealing several cases of espionage it has detected in recent years.

The government has also warned its citizens at home and abroad against the dangers of being drawn into espionage activities. It encourages people to join counterintelligence work, including creating channels for reporting suspicious activity.

China has also launched a broad crackdown on foreign consulting and due diligence firms over threats of revealing state secrets, which has unnerved foreign companies operating in the country.

(Reporting by Bernard Orr; editing by Michael Perry)

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters.