The heads of the British MI5 and the American FBI warned on Wednesday of Chinese spying in the West, in a rare joint message at the headquarters of the British intelligence service in London.
Addressing corporate officials and executives, MI5 Director General Ken McCallum and FBI Director Chris Wray said the threat from Chinese spies is very great in both countries and continues to grow.
McCallum indicated that MI5, the British domestic intelligence service, has greatly expanded its operations concentrated in China. “We currently do seven times as many investigations as we did in 2018,” said the MI5 director. “We plan to grow more again while maintaining significant efforts against covert threats from Russia and Iran,” he added.
McCallum noted that Chinese intelligence takes a slow and patient approach to obtaining sources and accessing information. “By volume, most of what is at risk from the Chinese Communist Party’s aggression is not, so to speak, my business. It is yours, the world-class experience, technology, research and commercial advantages developed and which are in the hands of the people in this room.”
The FBI’s Wray said the Chinese threat poses “a complex, enduring and widespread danger” to the US and UK, as well as other allies. China “seeks to steal your technology, whatever drives your industry, and use it to undermine your business and dominate your market,” he said.
The two officials also warned that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, which Beijing considers a breakaway province, would entail massive disruption of world trade and industry. They urged companies to remain vigilant and report potential threats.
“The Chinese Communist Party is interested in our democratic, media and legal systems. Not to copy them, unfortunately, but to use them for their own benefit,” McCallum said.
Beijing called the allegations “completely unfounded”. “The alleged cases listed are pure pursuit of falsehoods,” a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in the United Kingdom said in a statement posted on the mission’s website.
“They spread all kinds of lies about China to discredit the Chinese political system, stir up anti-China sentiment and divert public attention in order to cover up their own infamous acts,” the spokesperson added.
Source: With Agencies