Beijing accuses Britain of recruiting married couple working for Chinese government to 'spy' for its intelligence agencies

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
3 Min Read

Levelling a serious allegation of 'espionage' against Britain, China has said that Britain had recruited a married couple to spy for the British intelligence agency MI6, which was working for the Chinese government.

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China's civilian spy agency, the Ministry of State Security (MSS), said in a statement that it had solved a “major espionage case” involving MI6, exposing two important spies who were “sent inside us by the British side.”

According to CNN, the claim comes just weeks after British police charged three men with spying for Hong Kong's intelligence service, and earlier in April, two other individuals were charged with spying for China, including a former researcher for a prominent Conservative Party MP.

The allegations in Britain come after China's MSS said in January it had imprisoned the leader of a foreign consultancy who had allegedly spied for MI6.

Under Xi Jinping's leadership the country's intelligence agency has significantly increased its public presence and scope. From a shadow organization with no public face, the MSS has emerged as a highly visible force in public affairs.

According to CNN, over the past six months the MSS has made regular public announcements of ending foreign intelligence programs, which are impossible to verify due to their nature, but which present a positive image of the agency and serve as a constant warning to Chinese citizens to remain vigilant.

In its latest statement released on Monday, MSS detailed its allegations against the married couple.

It said the alleged spy, identified only by his surname Wang, worked at an undisclosed important government institution that had “access to important confidential information”.

According to the MSS, MI6 valued Wang’s access and “promptly approved” his application to study in the UK under an exchange programme in 2015.

According to the MSS, while Wang was studying in Britain, MI6 allegedly invited him to lunches and trips to explore his “character weaknesses and personal interests”.

The Chinese agency claimed that after it discovered Wang had a “strong desire for money”, the British spy agency hired a former student to get him a part-time consultancy job with a good salary, CNN reported.

The MSS further alleged that MI6 personnel had approached Wang to work for the British government, promising him high monetary rewards and security guarantees, to which he agreed and also received espionage training, after which he was asked to return to China to gather intelligence.

The MSS claimed MI6 had repeatedly pressured Wang to persuade his wife, who worked for a “key” government agency, to join the espionage, promising to quadruple her salary.

Currently the investigation of the matter is going on.

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