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Index – Abroad – The Chinese spying scandal continues to escalate in the United Kingdom

Index – Abroad – The Chinese spying scandal continues to escalate in the United Kingdom

As we reported on Index, last week the Sunday Times published the news that in March of this year two men were arrested in the United Kingdom, on suspicion of spying for China.

In addition, the two men were working in the British legislature’s Westminster building, which is why British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak held his Chinese counterpart Li Xiang to account for all of this at the G20 summit in India.

Although the two men, whose identities were not revealed, were arrested in March, the case did not come to light until September.

During their work, they assisted important politicians dealing with sensitive or classified information, such as the Conservative chair of the British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Alice Cairns, or Tom Tugendhat, who was appointed Minister of Defense in the meantime. To any of the suspects.

now POLITICO New details were published about parliamentary employees accused of espionage.

Three government sources confirmed to the newspaper that one of the people suspected of espionage consulted a minister about an important law for China.

In addition, three people reported that the man, who works as a researcher, also participated in the meeting when Cabinet Minister Alex Burghart discussed with a Conservative representative the addition of a bill that would promise tougher measures against China.

The draft law introduced new rules applicable to companies winning government procurement. In addition, the proposal would have strengthened ministers’ powers to rule out whether there is a national security risk related to a company.

According to this, for example, cameras whose installation companies may have ties with China will be removed from central government buildings and spaces, not immediately, but later.

In addition, the British government also agreed to establish a National Security Procurement Unit that would objectively assess national security concerns in future public procurement.

As the newspaper reports, the British House of Representatives was supposed to vote on the bill this week, but it was ultimately rejected.

The newspaper’s sources also unanimously claim that although the parliamentary researcher participated in the meeting with the minister, no sensitive and confidential information was disclosed, and the meeting lasted less than an hour.

Incidentally, other countries and the European Commission have already issued similar laws or regulations. For example, the latter specifically blocked Chinese Huawei or ZTE devices from its telecommunications system from the enterprise, which was opposed by the two companies in question as well as the Chinese leadership.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced in her annual assessment speech just this week that she would launch an investigation into Chinese government subsidies in relation to electric cars, and also confronted the Asian country on several issues, while also promising constructive relations with the EU as a partner and competitor. At the same time.

(Cover photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)