British minister demands stronger law after Chinese spies are found to be active in parliament

Britain needs to strengthen its legislation to sue foreign agents engaged in political intervention, Home Secretary Priti Patel said Chinese Communist spies were active in the British Parliament. Later mentioned.

The UK’s MI5 security agency has issued a warning warning that an individual named Christine Ching Kui Lee is “intentionally engaged in political intervention on behalf of the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).” I took the unusual measure of sending to. ). “

A warning issued on January 13 stated that Lee was promoting monetary donations to British political parties and politicians, and anyone contacted by her “relationship with her Chinese state.” We should promise to move forward with the CCP. ” The agenda in British politics. “

Interior Minister Priti Patel said he was “deeply concerned” that the British parliamentarians were targeted.

Priti Patel
British Home Secretary Priti Patel will leave Downing Street after attending a Cabinet meeting in central London on October 27, 2021. (Daniel Leal / AFP via Getty Images)

But she told the broadcaster: “This development is the result of a strong structure implemented by the United Kingdom to identify potential threats to foreign intervention and democracy.”

She said Christine Lee was the subject of a “long-standing investigation.”

Security services warned parliamentarians, but Patel said the activity is now “below the criminal threshold.”

She said “more warnings of this kind” can be expected in the future, and the government “to strengthen our law, the law, to effectively lead to the types of prosecutions we cannot currently do. We are working to consider the steps we can take delivery. “

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, who issued the MI5 warning, expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of further measures against Lee.

“Representatives of foreign tyrannical and sneaky powers engaged in political intervention on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party’s Unified Front Department could not do anything to them, except that they were not authorized. Why can’t I take any further action? At @UKParliament? ”He wrote. twitter..

The main opposition Labor Party said the information from MI5 was “very serious.”

“We condemn China’s attempts to interfere with Britain’s democratic process in the strongest terms,” ​​said Labor Party Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper.

Awards and donations

Born in Hong Kong, 58, with law firms in London and Birmingham, has been photographed for many years with prominent British politicians from all major political parties.

Lee received an award from May 2019 Prime Minister Teresa for working on a project to promote good relations between Britain’s China and the UK community, and David Cameron named President Xi Jinping in London. I was a VIP guest when I hosted. In 2015.

Lee publicly states that her activity is to “represent the Chinese community in the UK and increase diversity,” while MI5 states that her activity is “under secret coordination with the UFWD.” , Funded by foreigners in China and Hong Kong. ” Kong. “

Some who accept donations from Lee receive over £ 500,000 ($ 687,000) over six years to cover labor costs in his office and to hire her son as his diary manager. There is a senior Labor Party member Barry Gardiner.

Barry Gardiner
Barry Gardiner, then secretary of international trade, will address the delegation at the Labor Party meeting in Liverpool, England, on September 26, 2016. (Christopher Furlong / Getty Images)

After the disclosure, Gardiner said he had been in contact with security services for many years regarding contact with Lee, but only learned on Thursday that she was engaged in “illegal activity.”

Lee also donated £ 5,000 ($ 6,870) to Liberal Democratic Party leader Sir Ed Davy in 2013, and in 2014 to support then-candidate Sarayon of Somerton and Fromm in China. Sponsored the Liberal Democratic Party Supper.

A Liberal Democratic Party spokesman said he was “shocked” by the revelation that this was the first time Mr. Davie had been given a reason to worry about donating to a local party association.

According to MI5’s warning, Lee has “widespread involvement with individuals throughout Britain’s political spectrum,” including the “British Chinese” group of the disbanded All-Party Parliamentary Union.

In 2013, as chair of the MP’s “Chinese in Britain” group, she funded a four-day travel flight to Beijing for then-Hendon Andrew Dismore Labor lawmakers.

“United Front” veteran

The Chinese embassy in London rejected MI5’s claim, claiming that “China always adheres to the principle of not interfering with the internal affairs of other countries.”

“We strongly oppose the tricks of slander and intimidation against the British Chinese community.”

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin accused the British government of “making unfounded claims and hype about China’s threat” in order to serve its own purpose.

However, MI5’s claims are supported by academic research on the influence of the Chinese government abroad.

Martin SorryLee, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Exeter, finds himself an overseas member of the CCP’s political advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), leading to multiple “united frontline” groups serving the CCP administration. Did.

Through a survey of Chinese sources, Sawley recorded Lee’s meetings with various United Fronts and CPPCC affiliates, and image Her figure shaking hands with CCP leader Xi Jinping himself.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on January 14 that the issue was taken seriously and that ministers have promised to strengthen anti-spy legislation through a new counter-national threat bill.

“It would be deeply concerned that individuals deliberately engaged in the CCP’s intervention activities targeted parliamentarians,” a spokesman said.

“Protecting our democracy has always been an absolute priority for this government. We have a robust system in place, but security services and law enforcement agencies need to deal with future threats. Make sure you always have the authority. “

PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan