by Nina dos Santos and Allegra Goodwin | CNN
The United Kingdom’s domestic spy agency has warned British lawmakers that a woman linked to the Communist Party of China is working to interfere in Britain’s political process.
MI5 alleges in an alert that Christine Ching Cui Lee “acted secretly in coordination” with the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Communist Party of China (CCP) and “decided to engage in political interference activities in the UK”. has done.”
The MI5 “interference alert,” obtained on Thursday by CNN, said: “We believe that UFWD is seeking to covertly interfere in UK politics by establishing links with established and aspiring lawmakers across the political spectrum.”
The alert also states that Lee is “facilitating financial donations to political parties, MPs, aspiring MPs and individuals seeking political office in the UK, including donations to political entities on behalf of foreign nationals”. “
Lee is listed as a British citizen on the UK Companies Register.
MI5 said that while Lee has stated that his UK-based activities are “to represent and increase diversity in the UK Chinese community”, that those activities are carried out “in secret coordination with the UFWD, by foreign nationals based in China and Hong Kong”. Done with the money provided. Kong.”
CNN has contacted Lee for comment but has not received a response.
When CNN visited Lee’s offices on Thursday, they were empty and appeared to be the same for some time. A note on the door said the office had been closed due to the pandemic. No one answered the door or phone number posted at the door and an email to the general office address advertised was not answered.
Ian Duncan Smith, a senior British MP and former leader of the ruling Conservative Party, sounded the alarm in parliament on Thursday, saying MI5 had warned House Speaker Lindsay Hoyle that “an agent of the Chinese government” was actively acting. Is. “Procedures of Parliament.
“This is a matter of grave concern,” Duncan Smith said.
Lee is largely “connected to individuals across the UK political spectrum, including through the now-disbanded All-Party Parliamentary Chinese in Britain group, and wishes to establish a further APPG to advance the CCP’s agenda.” Can keep,” said Mi5.
CNN has reached out to the Chinese embassy in London for comment.
Duncan Smith asked that, in light of the incident, Parliament consider increasing security and deporting the Chinese agent. Duncan Smith said he had heard that the person would not be deported and questioned why no further action would be taken against “a foreign despot and an agent of a vile power”.
Duncan Smith is a vocal critic of the Chinese government. He was banned by Beijing last year for his comments on the treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang and barred from entering the country. Chinese businessmen and citizens are also banned from doing business with him.
“It’s definitely not good enough,” Duncan Smith said on Thursday.
MI5 said that anyone Li contacted should be “cautious about his affiliation with the Chinese state and sent to advance the CCP’s agenda in UK politics,” and to the Director of Parliamentary Security To be contacted if they receive a “contact related or suspicious”.