China ‘Single Greatest Priority’ for UK’s MI6 Intelligence Agency

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The caput of Britain’s MI6 quality bureau said connected Tuesday that the Chinese authorities poses a “serious challenge” to planetary bid and has go the “single top priority” for his organisation.

Speaking astatine the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) successful London, MI6 main Richard Moore listed China, Russia, Iran, and planetary coercion arsenic the “Big Four” priorities for Western quality communities, but stressed that “adapting to a satellite affected by the emergence of China is the azygous top precedence for MI6.”

Moore besides said “there is nary doubt” that the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has not conscionable boosted the morale of terrorists globally, but has besides emboldened regimes specified arsenic China, Russia, and Iran.

Moore warned that Chinese spy agencies are “highly capable” and are mounting “large-scale” spying operations against the UK and its allies. “This includes the targeting of those moving successful government, industries, oregon connected probe of peculiar involvement to the Chinese state. They besides show and effort to workout undue power implicit the Chinese diaspora.”

Moore said Chinese quality officers question to exploit the “open nature” of Western societies and the Chinese authorities has been attempting to “distort nationalist sermon and governmental determination making crossed the globe.”

Risk of ‘Over-Confidence’

The quality main said China’s increasing assertiveness—especially its “desire to resoluteness the Taiwan issue”—threatens planetary bid and could pb to conflict.

“The Chinese Communist Party progressively favour decisive enactment justified connected nationalist information grounds,” helium said. “The days of Deng Xiaoping’s ‘hide your strength, bide your time’ are agelong over.”

“Beijing believes its ain propaganda astir Western frailties and under-estimates Washington’s resolve. The hazard of Chinese miscalculation done over-confidence is real.”

Moore noted that Beijing removed idiosyncratic rights and freedoms successful Hong Kong successful the sanction of nationalist security, and its surveillance authorities has carried retired wide quality rights abuses, including the arbitrary detention of an estimated 1 cardinal Uyghur Muslims.

“Worryingly, these technologies of power and surveillance are progressively being exported to different governments by China: expanding the web of authoritarian power astir the planet,” helium said.

‘Debt Traps and Data Traps’

Moore said the UK wants different countries to beryllium “clear-eyed astir the indebtedness traps, information exposure, and vulnerability to governmental coercion that originate from dependency connected relationships wherever determination is nary recourse to an autarkic judiciary oregon escaped press.”

“We volition question an overlapping acceptable of partnerships with antithetic countries and regions connected these issues, making communal origin connected communal concerns.”

Earlier, successful an interrogation with BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme, Moore warned astir China’s usage of “debt traps and information traps” to get countries and individuals “on the hook.”

He said the “debt trap” has allowed the Chinese authorities to beryllium fixed the usage of ports—which could beryllium utilized arsenic naval bases—in countries that are incapable to repay loans.

He added, “The information trap is this: that if you let different state to summation entree to truly captious information astir your society, implicit clip that volition erode your sovereignty, you nary longer person power implicit that data.”

Moore said the UK is “very alive” to these risks and has taken measures to support against them.

China “does not stock our values and often their interests clash with ours” and Chinese person Xi Jinping is “very wide that we are present successful a much assertive signifier with China,” helium said.

Although the UK is not seeking an “adversarial relationship” with China, “we request to beryllium precise robust successful warring our corner,” helium added.

PA contributed to this report.

Alexander Zhang