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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

British Security Agency MI5 Warns Lawmakers About China’s Political Interference

LONDON. On Thursday, Britain’s homeland security agency MI5 issued an unusual warning to lawmakers that a Chinese government agent was actively working to undermine political processes in parliament.

The existence of a warning promulgated by lawmakers in the British House of Commons prompted some outspoken critics of the Chinese government to press the British Conservative government to respond to its plans to combat political interference.

It’s kind of intervention “we now expect and expect from China,” said Tobias Ellwood, a Conservative MP. “But the fact that it happened to this parliament – there must be a sense of urgency on the part of this government.”

This is due to heightened tensions between the two countries, as the UK has taken an increasingly tough stance against Beijing in recent years. It revoked the license of a China-backed broadcaster, suspended an extradition treaty with Hong Kong, and granted visas to tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents after Beijing passed a security law that stifles political dissent. In 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson banned Chinese telecommunications company Huawei from supplying equipment for the UK’s 5G network.

In response, China has imposed sanctions on several British lawmakers and groups for their public criticism of the government, including repression of the Uyghurs, a Muslim minority.

In the past, senior officials have raised concerns about China’s political influence. Richard Moore, head of MI6, the country’s foreign intelligence service, said in a speech in November that the agency’s “biggest priority” is adapting to a world in which China’s power is growing. He warned that Chinese intelligence agencies are seeking to conduct “large-scale espionage operations” against Britain and its allies.

The MI5 Notice was published by several UK news outlets and was confirmed by the Speaker of Parliament’s Office. He warned that the woman identified as Christine Ching Kui Li was “acting in secret” through the United Front Workers’ Section, the branch of the Chinese Communist Party that promotes the government’s agenda around the world. The branch sought to “develop relationships with influential figures to ensure that the UK political landscape is conducive to the CCP’s agenda,” the notice said.

Ms. Li, a lawyer, has also been openly associated with two other groups, the China Overseas Friendship Association and the British-China Project, she said, using the cover of the British Chinese community to hide her activities on behalf of the Chinese government.

Ms. Li has been involved in “facilitating financial donations to political parties”, legislators and potential candidates for public office in the UK, and “political organizations” on behalf of foreign nationals, the statement said. She said in a statement that she has “extensive contacts with the UK political spectrum” and has been involved in informal cross-party groups run by lawmakers known as the All-Party Parliamentary Groups.

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Those contacted by Ms. Li, warned in the notice, should “remember her belonging to the Chinese state and devote themselves to advancing the CCP’s agenda in UK politics.”

In its Political Funding Records, the UK Electoral Commission listed a number of donations from Christine Lee & Co. to support the office of opposition Labor MP Barry Gardiner.

Mr Gardiner said in a statement on Thursday that he had been in contact with British security services for a number of years and that they “were fully aware of her interactions with my office and of the donations she made to fund the research in my office at past “.

He added that Ms. Li had nothing to do with the appointment or management of these researchers, and that she stopped funding any staff at his office in June 2020. According to him, he did not receive personal benefit from these donations.

Ms. Li’s son worked in his office but resigned on Thursday, the statement said. The security services told him that “they have no data to prove that he knew about the illegal activities of his mother or was involved in her.”

Attempts to contact Ms. Li on Thursday were unsuccessful.

“I know that many are deeply concerned about the fact that an individual who knowingly participated in political interference on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party is targeting lawmakers,” UK Home Secretary Prity Patel said in a statement.

However, she added, the exposure was a sign that Britain had created structures to identify foreign interference or any potential threats to democracy.

Ian Duncan Smith, a Conservative MP who has faced Chinese sanctions, said the presence of an active Chinese government agent in British politics “raises grave concern,” adding that it puts UK asylum seekers away from the Chinese. The Communist Party is in danger.

This was stated by a prominent representative of the parliament on foreign policy Tom Tugendhat. Twitter that the current case has demonstrated the need to remain vigilant against foreign interference.

“It is clear that the challenge from Beijing is growing and we need to protect our democracy from hostile activities,” said Mr Tugendhat, who is chairman of the Foreign Affairs Ad Hoc Committee.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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