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World News

Chinese ambassador summoned by UK Foreign Office after three people accused of spying

  • By Gordon Corera, Security Correspondent and Aoife Walsh
  • BBC News

Image source, Getty Images

China’s ambassador has been summoned by the British Foreign Office after three people were accused of helping Hong Kong’s intelligence services.

In a meeting with Zheng Zeguang, Foreign Ministry officials condemned “recent behavior” by China, including cyberattacks.

Three men in the UK were charged with breaches of the national security law on Monday.

Hong Kong called on British authorities to provide “full details” of the accusations.

China, in which Hong Kong operates as a special administrative region, has refuted allegations that the city’s intelligence services were involved.

The Foreign Office said it told Mr Zheng that China’s “recent behavior against the UK, including cyberattacks, reports of espionage links and issuing bounties” was not ” not acceptable “.

In a statement, the Chinese embassy called the allegations “baseless and slanderous.”

He said he had complained to the British government about its “reprehensible behavior”, including the “unwarranted accusation” against the Hong Kong government.

Mr Zheng had “made further serious representations to the UK regarding the UK’s misconduct, including its unwarranted accusations” against the Hong Kong government.

Chi Leung (Peter) Wai, 38, Matthew Trickett, 37, and Chung Biu Yuen, 63, are accused of agreeing to engage in information gathering, surveillance and acts of deception likely to materially assist a foreign intelligence service between December 20, 2023 and May 2.

Mr Wai is a British Border Force officer and Mr Trickett is a Home Office immigration officer who served in the Royal Marine for six years.

Mr Yuen, also known as Billy Yuen, is a retired Hong Kong police officer who now works as a sales manager for the territory based in London.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong leader John Lee said he did not know Mr Yuen personally after a photo of the two men, believed to have been taken in 2002, began circulating online and in the media.

Mr Lee confirmed at a press conference that he and Mr Yuen were in the photo – apparently at a graduation ceremony at Charles Stuart University in Australia – but said “my impression of this person is just this photo.”

He also told reporters that his government had requested more information from the British government about the accusations and was “awaiting a response.”

All three defendants are yet to enter guilty pleas and have been released on bail until May 24, when they are due to appear at the Old Bailey.

District Judge Louisa Cieciora imposed conditions including a curfew from 10 a.m. to 5 a.m., a requirement to report weekly to the local police station, a ban on traveling abroad and notifying police devices used to access the Internet.

Downing Street said the accusations were “deeply concerning” and that the Prime Minister “thanked the police for their work to keep us safe”.

Legend, Chi Leung (Peter) Wai, Matthew Trickett and Chung Biu (Billy) Yuen are due to appear in court again next week.

News Source : www.bbc.com
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