Rishi Sunak express ‘significant concerns’ over Chinese Premier following ‘spy arrest’

Rishi Sunak express ‘significant concerns’ over Chinese Premier following ‘spy arrest’

Rishi Sunak’s Concerns About Chinese Interference During a G20 meeting, Rishi Sunak conveyed his “significant concerns about Chinese interference in the UK’s parliamentary democracy” to Chinese Premier Li Qiang. This discussion occurred shortly after the revelation of the arrest of a British parliamentary researcher suspected of spying for China, along with another individual in Oxfordshire.

Prime Minister’s Meeting with Chinese Counterpart Downing Street confirmed that the Prime Minister held an informal discussion with the Chinese Premier on the sidelines of the G20 summit in India. The meeting took place amid growing concerns about alleged Chinese interference in UK affairs.

Arrest of Parliamentary Researcher A House of Commons researcher, believed to be in his 20s, was arrested in Edinburgh under the Official Secrets Act on suspicion of spying for China. This arrest raised questions about the researcher’s connections to prominent Conservative MPs, including security minister Tom Tugendhat and foreign affairs committee chairwoman Alicia Kearns. The researcher had previously lived and worked in China.

Responses to the Arrest Alicia Kearns acknowledged awareness of the report but declined to comment further. Tom Tugendhat, who had no recent contact with the researcher since becoming security minister, was also linked to the case.

Additional Arrest and Searches On the same day, another man in his 30s was arrested at a property in Oxfordshire, and searches were conducted at a property in east London. These actions were part of the investigation into the suspected espionage activities.

Concerns About Chinese Threat The Intelligence and Security Committee had previously warned that China was targeting the UK “prolifically and aggressively.” Some senior Tories criticized Rishi Sunak for seeking a closer relationship with China, which they view as an increasing threat. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly had visited Beijing to emphasize a “pragmatic” relationship with China to address global challenges like climate change.

Security Measures and Lessons Justice Secretary Alex Chalk acknowledged the seriousness of the situation, describing China as an “epoch-defining threat.” He highlighted the need for a rigorous approach in providing parliamentary passes and emphasized that lessons, if any, from this investigation should be learned by parliamentary authorities to enhance security measures.

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