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Updated January 8th, 2024 at 20:22 IST

China accuses UK's MI6 spies of collecting state secrets; London, Beijing trade barbs

China’s Ministry of State Security said in a statement that it detected the consultant spying for the UK on its social media platform WeChat.

Reported by: Digital Desk
China
UK's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and China's President Xi jinping. | Image:AP
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China on Monday accused the UK of collecting state secrets via a consultant linked to the British intelligence agency MI6’s spies. Beijing arrested a ‘consultant,’ who it said, was conducting espionage activities in China for the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service since 2015 and was recruiting more spooks. 

China’s Ministry of State Security said in a statement that it detected the consultant spying for the UK on its social media platform WeChat. It alleged that MI6 of UK used the man identified as Huang Moumou to “collect Chinese state’s secrets and covert information.” It is understood that the detained consultant is of neither British nor Chinese nationality. 

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“After careful investigation, the state security organs promptly discovered evidence of Huang’s involvement in espionage activities, and took criminal coercive measures against him,” the Chinese ministry said in an official statement. 

Consultant trained in spy aircraft operations in Britain: Beijing officials

PRC did not reveal the man’s gender or nationality but claimed that the consultant entered Beijing on instructions of the MI6 spy agency. Using his fake public identity, the man gathered China-related intelligence that he later passed on to the British spies, it added. Furthermore, Beijing officials claim that the consultant has been trained in spy aircraft operations in Britain, and that he was issued “specialist spying equipment.” 

Huang posed as the “boss” of a foreign consulting firm, and over several past years, he entered China many times for the alleged spying activities. Both London and Beijing traded barbs on the alleged spying activities in respective countries, and the recent incident strains the bilateral ties between the two developed nations. China’s Ministry of State Security outrightly accused the UK of recruiting Huang in 2015, and alleged that the state had formed “an intelligence cooperation” with the man.  The latter has passed 17 secrets that included the confidential pieces to the British government, Chinese officials maintained. Huang, “entered China several times under instructions to use their public profile as a cover to collect China-related intelligence for Britain... and seek other personnel whom MI6 could turn,” it noted. The Chinese ministry also stressed that they “promptly discovered criminal evidence that Huang was engaged in espionage activities, and took criminal coercive measures in accordance with the law”.

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Published January 8th, 2024 at 20:22 IST

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