The heads of the United Kingdom and the United States' domestic intelligence services, M15 and the FBI, have jointly warned of the threat from China.
China threat 'game-changing'
In an unprecedented first joint appearance on Wednesday 6 July at the M15 headquarters in London’s Thames House, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that the Chinese government 'poses the biggest long-term threat to our economic and national security.' He continued, as reported by Reuters:
The Chinese government is trying to shape the world by interfering in our politics (and those of our allies, I should add).
M15 Director Ken McCallum said that the Chinese Communist Party is 'the most game-changing challenge we face' and is 'covertly applying pressure across the globe,' reported by Al Jazeera. He continued that M15 has already 'more than doubled our previously-constrained effort against Chinese activity of concern,' adding that it has seven times as many investigations currently underway than in 2018.
Wray warned that the Chinese government 'poses an even more serious threat to Western businesses than even many sophisticated businesspeople realize,' and is 'set on stealing your technology.' He also said that the Chinese government's hacking programme was 'bigger than that of every major country combined,' and that it uses cyber to 'cheat and steal on a massive scale,' as reported by the BBC.
Wray said that if China were to forcibly take Taiwan, which it regards as a province, 'it would represent one of the most horrific business disruptions the world has ever seen.' McCallum said:
The widespread Western assumption that growing prosperity within China and increasing connectivity with the West would automatically lead to greater political freedom has, I'm afraid, been shown to be plain wrong.
In response, a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in the UK said:
The allegations against China by U.S. and UK intelligence officials are completely groundless and the so-called cases they listed are pure shadow chasing.
They spread all kinds of lies about China in order to smear China’s political system, stoke anti-China and exclusion sentiment, and divert public attention in order to cover up their own infamous deeds.
The spokesperson urged the UK and the US to 'have a clear understanding of the trend of the time, abandon the Cold War mentality which has long gone out of date, stop spreading 'China threat', and stop creating confrontation and conflicts.'