Spy from the United Kingdom (Story teller: Chinese civilian spy agency)

It looks like a movie but these are real-world allegations

China says couple working for government spied for UK MI6

Per Amrit GanCNN

China has accused the United Kingdom of recruiting a couple working for the Chinese central government to spy. The couple is accused of passing information to MI6, at a time when the two countries are exchanging allegations of espionage.

In a statement, China’s civilian spy agency, the Ministry of State Security (MSS), said it had recently solved an “important espionage case” involving MI6, in which it discovered two important moles “placed in our ranks by the British side”.

The charges come just weeks after British police accused three men of spying for Hong Kong’s intelligence services, followed in April by charges against two others accused of spying for China, including a former investigator for the ruling Conservative Party.

The allegations in Britain came after China’s MSS said in January it had detained the head of a foreign consultancy firm who had allegedly spied for MI6.

Under Xi Jinping, China’s most authoritarian leader in decades, the country’s spy agency has dramatically raised its public profile and expanded its powers. From an obscure organization with no obvious public face, the MSS has transformed into a highly visible presence in public life.

Over the past six months, the MSS has made regular public statements about eliminating foreign espionage operations, statements which are impossible to verify given their nature but which give the agency positive reviews – and these developments are regularly used by the Chinese government to warn its citizens to remain vigilant.

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In its latest statement, the MSS detailed its allegations against the couple.

According to the agency, an alleged spy identified by the surname Wang worked in an unnamed central state body in a position “with access to essential confidential information.”

In 2015, Wang’s application to study in the United Kingdom as part of an exchange programme was “quickly approved” because MI6 valued his access, according to the MSS.

The MSS says that while studying in Britain, Wang was invited to meals and guided tours organised by MI6 to understand his “character weaknesses and personal interests”.

The MSS says that after discovering that Wang had a “strong desire for money”, the British spy agency used a former student to lure him with a high-paying part-time consultancy opportunity.

“The UK side started with open research projects and gradually moved into major internal issues of our central state agencies, paying fees significantly higher than the usual consultancy fees. Although Wang was somewhat skeptical about this situation, he continued to provide so-called ‘consultancy’ services to the British side, lured by the large sums of money,” the MSS statement said.

The MSS alleges that some time later, MI6 personnel approached Wang to work for the British government, promising him high monetary rewards and security guarantees.

According to the statement, Wang agreed to the terms and received espionage training before being asked to return to China to gather information.

According to the MSS, MI6 also repeatedly urged Wang to persuade his wife – who worked at a “central” government agency – to join the espionage, and offered her double the money. Despite initial hesitation, Wang and his wife, surnamed Zhou, eventually agreed, the MSS alleged.

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According to MSS, the matter is being investigated.

CNN sought comment from the British Foreign Office, which handles media affairs for the Secret Intelligence Service, the official name of MI6.

In August last year, the MSS made its social media debut: it launched an official account on WeChat, China’s most popular social app, appealing to “all members of society” to join the fight against foreign infiltration. Their posts regularly garner hundreds of thousands of views and are widely shared across state media outlets.

According to the MSS, foreign spies are omnipresent and infiltrate everything – from cartography applications to weather stations. The ministry has previously published details of espionage activities carried out by Western spy agencies and described how Chinese citizens studying or working abroad were allegedly recruited by the CIA.

About the author: Cory Weinberg

"Student. Subtly charming organizer. Certified music advocate. Writer. Lifelong troublemaker. Twitter lover."

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