China’s Highly Active Espionage Scheme Targets British Politicians and Defense Officials, Reveals UK Government

The government of the United Kingdom has released a report revealing that Chinese spies are actively targeting British officials in sensitive positions in politics, business, and defense. This is part of a highly advanced espionage campaign aimed at gaining access to classified state secrets.

Thursday’s response from the government comes after the British Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament issued a report in July, stating that the UK’s approach to the Chinese threat has been inadequate. The report highlighted Chinese recruitment schemes that specifically target British and allied nationals holding key positions with valuable knowledge and experience.

The newly released UK government report emphasizes the prolific nature of China’s human intelligence collection. It describes how China utilizes a vast network of individuals embedded within local society, often identified through social media, to gain access to individuals of interest. These targets range from serving politicians to former political figures, senior government officials, and military personnel.


A general view of the Houses of Parliament on Oct. 20, 2022. in London, England.  (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

In recent news, a young parliamentary researcher has been arrested on suspicion of spying for China. The Metropolitan Police confirmed the researcher’s arrest under the Official Secrets Act, and it is believed that they had access to several conservative MPs. However, the researcher denies any wrongdoing. 

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has declined to comment on specific security-related matters regarding the espionage claims against the parliamentary researcher. Nevertheless, Cleverly has acknowledged discussions with Chinese leaders on the issue of interference in the UK’s democracy.


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