PanaTimes

Saturday, Jan 28, 2023

UK spy chief suggests Beijing risks ‘miscalculation’ over west’s resolve

UK spy chief suggests Beijing risks ‘miscalculation’ over west’s resolve

Island’s status and surveillance technology making China ‘single greatest priority’ for MI6
China is at risk of “miscalculating through over-confidence” over Taiwan, said the MI6 head, Richard Moore, in a statement clearly intended to warn Beijing to back off any attempt to seize control of the island.

Giving a rare speech, Britain’s foreign intelligence chief said in London that China was at risk of “believing its own propaganda” and that the country had become “the single greatest priority” for MI6 for the first time in its history.

Moore did not mention Taiwan explicitly, but the status of the country, whose independence is not recognised by Beijing, remains the most acute issue of tension between China and the west.

Moore, at the event, organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said: “The Chinese Communist party leadership increasingly favour bold and decisive action on national security grounds. The days of Deng Xiaoping’s ‘hide your strength, bide your time’ are over.

“Beijing believes its own propaganda about western frailties and underestimates Washington’s resolve. The risk of Chinese miscalculation through over-confidence is real.”

The UK remains keen to cooperate with China across a range of issues, including climate change and on trade and investment, and generally avoids remarks critical of Beijing. But Moore’s remarks are some of the most pointed comments made by a British intelligence chief or other senior security official about China.

The MI6 chief also warned about the spread of Chinese surveillance technology, which he said was used in “targeting the Uyghur population in Xinjiang” and said the UK needed to recognise that “technologies of control are being increasingly exported to other governments”.

Moore concluded that “adapting to a world affected by the rise of China” was “the single biggest priority for MI6”. It is understood that China now forms the largest part of the agency’s work for the first time, greater than its traditional but still substantial focus on Russia and Islamist terrorism.

A particular point of concern, Moore said earlier in an interview with the BBC, was China’s use of “debt traps and data traps” to get smaller countries “through its economic policies to try to sometimes … get people on the hook”.

Trying to define the data trap, Moore said: “If you allow another country to gain access to really critical data about your society, over time that will erode your sovereignty, you no longer have control over that data.”

MI6 has been concerned for some time about China’s interest in acquiring large datasets, including personal and medical information, whether through hacking or by reaching a commercial agreement with a smaller country that allows it to take control of data and send it to its home market.

Worries similar to those about a debt trap have been expressed about Beijing’s Belt and Road economic development initiative, in which Chinese development projects in Africa and elsewhere are funded by its own banks.

This week, it emerged that Uganda was at risk of losing control of Entebbe international airport to China after struggling to payback a $200m loan as intended.

Russia, added Moore, remained an “acute threat”, its foreign interference being on an “upward trend”. He reinforced remarks made by British ministers in support of Ukraine.

“Ukraine is a separate sovereign country, with a separate sovereign Ukrainian people,” he said.

Western spy agencies are particularly concerned about the buildup of Russian troops on Ukraine’s eastern border, and the possibility that Russia will support destabilisation operations in the country. At the end of last week, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said his intelligence agents had uncovered a pro-Russian coup plot.

Moore said MI6 would have to become “more open to stay secret” and work more closely with tech companies to counter threats posed by China and Russia, which sought to gain advantage by mastering artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanaTimes
Close
0:00
0:00
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman.
Yellen hints at ‘national security’ probe into Twitter purchase
Elon Musk reinstates Donald Trump's Twitter account.
Good news: US moves to shield Saudi crown prince in journalist killing
George W. Bush and Barack Obama will hold back-to-back disinformation conferences
Mission Improbable: Tom Cruise & Queen Elizabeth
Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico are not single anymore
Boris Johnson is about to sign a contract with an American company to get millions for giving speeches. Something he did until very recently for free.
Solar + Powerwall ensures you never lose power, even if the grid goes down
Bavarian Prime Minister Söder: "There is no reason for mask obligations, no lockdowns anymore”
×