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China Accuses MI6 of Recruiting Chinese State Workers

China has leveled accusations against the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service MI6, alleging that it recruited Chinese state employees as spies.

In a statement on its official WeChat channel, China’s Ministry of State Security claimed that MI6 operatives persuaded a Chinese man, identified only by his surname Wang, and his wife, surnamed Zhou, to spy against Beijing. Both individuals were employed in sensitive departments within a Chinese state agency.

According to the ministry, MI6 began cultivating Mr. Wang during his studies in the UK in 2015, as part of a Sino-British exchange program. Allegedly, operatives provided him with special attention during his time in the UK, including dinners and tours, in order to gain insight into his interests and vulnerabilities.

The BBC has contacted UK authorities for a response to these allegations.

These accusations come shortly after the UK charged two individuals with spying for China. UK police accused them of providing “articles, notes, documents, or information” to a foreign state, while China dismissed the allegations as “malicious slander.”

Additionally, earlier this month, a former Royal Marine who was charged with aiding the Hong Kong intelligence service was found dead, according to police reports.

Beijing and numerous Western nations have increasingly exchanged accusations of espionage.

Regarding Mr. Wang’s case, Chinese authorities stated that MI6 operatives exploited his “strong desire for money.” They purportedly befriended him on campus, posing as alumni, and persuaded him to offer “paid consulting services.”

After a period of interaction, and upon their assessment that “the conditions were ripe,” the operatives allegedly approached him to work for the British government in exchange for better pay and security offers, as claimed by China’s Ministry of State Security.

Through Mr. Wang, the MI6 operatives also purportedly recruited Ms. Zhou to spy for China.

“Wang was initially hesitant but could not resist [the operatives’] repeated persuasion, enticement and even coercion, and eventually agreed,” the ministry said in a statement on WeChat.

“Under Wang’s strong instigation, Zhou agreed to collect intelligence… and he and his wife became British spies.”

Additionally, it stated that the case remains under investigation.

Since its launch in August, China’s Ministry of State Security has been regularly updating its official channel with postings.

In January, it issued a warning to citizens about the risks posed by “exotic beauties” attempting to entice them into cooperation with foreign intelligence agencies.

Furthermore, it has cautioned against photographing military equipment and advised against organizations that recruit aviation enthusiasts as volunteers to transmit China’s flight data to other countries.

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