UK Summons Chinese Envoy Over Alleged Espionage Cases

Tue May 14 2024
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LONDON: The UK government on Tuesday said it had summoned China’s ambassador Zheng Zeguang, a day after three people were charged in the latest alleged espionage activities.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the UK’s foreign ministry expressed clear disapproval of China’s conduct, citing a “pattern of behavior” including cyber-attacks, espionage allegations, and the issuance of bounties directed against the UK.

The summons came in the wake of Monday’s announcement of charges against three persons accused of assisting Hong Kong’s intelligence service. The charged persons, Chi Leung Wai, Matthew Trickett, and Chung Biu Yuen, all hailing from southeast England, were subsequently released on bail.

Of particular concern was the revelation that one of the charged persons served as the manager of Hong Kong’s trade office in London. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office labeled the charges as “deeply concerning.”

However, China’s foreign affairs commissioner in Hong Kong vehemently condemned the UK’s actions, accusing it of fabricating charges and interfering in Hong Kong’s internal affairs. The commissioner warned of “firm and strong retaliation” against Britain in response.

Anne Keast-Butler, director of GCHQ, the UK’s intelligence, security, and cyber agency, underscored the growing cyber threat posed by China. Addressing the Cyber UK conference in Birmingham, she highlighted China’s sophisticated cyber capabilities and its utilization of a vast commercial ecosystem of hacking entities and data brokers.

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