China Claims Couple Working for Govt. Turned British Spies

China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS) has announced that a married couple, Wang and Zhou, are being investigated for allegedly being British spies. 

The MMS describes a significant espionage case orchestrated by MI6, and the ministry claims to have solid evidence supporting its allegations. 

Wang applied to study in the United Kingdom in 2015 and was offered substantial financial rewards by MI6 to collect information on the undisclosed “central state organs” they were employed in. The agency did not disclose the timing of the couple’s arrest but mentioned that the operation took place “recently.”

Britain has yet to address the accusations. 

MSS, China’s leading intelligence service, which has typically operated discreetly, has recently started to make some of its counterespionage efforts more public. They are using the popular app WeChat to share advice warnings and highlight significant cases from the past. Beijing’s authorities have also joined the United States and other NATO members in revealing prominent instances involving opponents, in this instance from the West. In February, the spy agency of the country claimed that the CIA was engaged in a comprehensive espionage conflict with China.

China’s Ministry of State Security claims that Britain’s MI6 expedited Wang’s study request in the U.K. due to his sensitive position in the Chinese government. According to reports, Wang received personalized attention and was provided with a handler to assess his character flaws. MI6 dispatched undercover agents posing as former students to approach him at the university, offering potential part-time consulting gigs. The agency stated that the U.K. initially started with publicly accessible research and then gradually delved into the internal affairs of China’s central government organs.

Wang and Zhou could potentially face severe consequences if they are proven guilty of treason. In April, China suggested for the first time that a man executed for espionage in 2016 had provided classified information to the U.S. government.