MI5, the UK’s national security intelligence agency, revealed that a CCP agent secretly infiltrated the UK Parliament and interfered in British politics.
A warning from MI5 claims that Christine Ching Kui Lee, a longtime UK-based lawyer, had “established links” for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with incumbent MPs and would-be candidates for MP, and she then spoke to politicians. donations from non-British people in China and Hong Kong.
MI5 said anyone in contact with Li should “be mindful of her affiliation” and her “activity to advance the CCP agenda.”
British Conservative MP and former leader Sir Duncan Smith asked questions about MI5’s warning in the House of Commons on the 13th, confirming that the Speaker of the House of Commons had emailed the warning to MPs.
He said it was “a matter of serious concern” and called for Lee to be deported and asked for an explanation from the government to the House of Commons.
Former UK defence secretary Tobias Ellwood also called on the government to explain in the Commons, adding: “This is the kind of grey area interference we now expect from China.”
“But the fact that this is happening in parliament, the government has to have a sense of urgency,” he added.
MI5 “opens facts to address future risks”
BBC security correspondent Correra analysis:
For MI5, the act of issuing a warning about an individual is very rare.
It also shows that the long investigation has brought their concerns to the point where they feel they must act now.
We’ve heard concerns about Russian influence in the past, but British intelligence officials say China is now their top priority.
The charge in this warning is meddling – gaining influence secretly – not espionage (stealing secrets).
One concern for security officials is that there is currently no legal response to the intervention.
As a result, they sometimes believe that making the facts public is the best way to prevent future risks, as MI5 is doing now.
According to MI5’s alert, Li Zhenju said that the purpose of her contacts with Parliament was to “represent British Chinese and promote diversity”.
But MI5 said those activities “were carried out in secret coordination with the United Front Work Department and were funded by foreigners in China and Hong Kong.”
MI5 also said she had “extensive contacts” with British politicians, including the now-defunct cross-party parliamentary group called “Chinese in Britain”.
But they warned that Li “may want to set up parliamentary groups to advance the CCP’s agenda”.