China Accuses British MI6 of Recruiting Chinese Spies

China has accused the British foreign intelligence service, MI6, of recruiting two staff members from Chinese central state bodies as spies. The accused, a married couple surnamed Wang and Zhou, were allegedly enticed with monetary rewards. Britain has declined to comment on the espionage claims.

Reuters | Updated: 03-06-2024 18:52 IST | Created: 03-06-2024 18:52 IST
China Accuses British MI6 of Recruiting Chinese Spies
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China has accused the British foreign intelligence service MI6 of recruiting two staff members from unnamed Chinese central state bodies as spies for the British government, its State Security Ministry said on Monday.

It said the case against the two alleged spies, a married couple, was under further investigation, without elaborating. China and Britain have for months traded accusations over perceived spying they said was a threat to national security.

In January, Beijing said that MI6, Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, had used a foreigner in China to collect secrets and information. British prosecutors in April charged two people with providing prejudicial information to China, and last month three other people were accused of assisting Hong Kong's foreign intelligence service in Britain.

In its statement, the Chinese ministry said one of the alleged spies, with the surname Wang, studied in the UK in 2015 under an exchange programme and had been invited to dinners and tours surreptitiously arranged by MI6 during that period. It said Wang had "a strong desire for money" and was drawn into a part-time consulting opportunity with high remuneration before MI6 personnel approached him to work to serve the British government with promises of even bigger monetary rewards, as well as security.

After espionage training, MI6 commanded Wang to return to China to collect important information related to the Chinese government, the ministry said. Its statement said MI6 also persuaded Wang to recruit his wife, who worked at a "core government unit", for double the money. His wife, whose surname was Zhou, eventually agreed, it said.

Asked about the Chinese claims, a spokesperson for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it was the government's "longstanding policy not to comment on the work of our intelligence agencies or security matters".

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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