Chinese ambassador summoned to Foreign Office after men charged with ‘spying for Hong Kong’ | Politics News

China’s ambassador to the UK has been summoned to the Foreign Office after three people were charged with spying for Hong Kong.

The Foreign Office said it was “unequivocal in setting out that the recent pattern of behaviour directed by China against the UK including cyber-attacks, reports of espionage links and the issuing of bounties is not acceptable”.

A spokesman said the ambassador, Zheng Zeguang, was summoned on instruction from Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron after the men were charged under the National Security Act with assisting Hong Kong’s intelligence service and foreign interference.

Chi Leung (Peter) Wai, 38, Matthew Trickett, 37, and Chung Biu Yuen, 63, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

It is alleged that between 20 December 2023 and 2 May, Yuen, Wai and Trickett agreed to undertake information gathering, surveillance and acts of deception that were likely to assist a foreign intelligence service.

It is also alleged that they forced entry into a UK residential address on 1 May.

The “bounties” mentioned by the Foreign Office are about money provided for information leading to the arrest of overseas nationals, something the Hong Kong government offered in July and December 2023.

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A custody van holding the three men charged with spying arrives at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. Pic: PA

Alicia Kearns, chair of the foreign affairs committee, said the Chinese ambassador being summoned was “a relief to hear and long overdue”.

“Hostile interference on UK soil is a serious issue for which we should have absolutely zero tolerance,” she said.

“We must be absolute on that with all countries.”

The Chinese embassy in London on Monday denied all the allegations, strongly condemned the UK’s “unwarranted accusation” and said the UK has staged a “series of accusations against China”, with the claims about Chinese spies and cyber attacks “groundless and slanderous”.

“It must be stressed that Hong Kong has long returned to China. Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong. The UK has no right and is in no position to point fingers at and meddle in Hong Kong affairs,” it added.

During the brief hearing in court, the three men were granted bail and told they will appear at the Old Bailey on 24 May.

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District Judge Louisa Cieciora said they must abide by conditions including a 10pm to 5am curfew, reporting weekly to their local police station, not travelling internationally and informing police of devices used to access the internet.

Trickett, Yuen and Wai were charged following an investigation led by officers from the Met’s counter-terrorism command in which 11 people were detained.

Eight men and a woman were arrested by officers on 1 May in the Yorkshire area, before a man was arrested in London and another man was arrested in the Yorkshire area the following day, the force said.

The seven men and one woman who were not charged were released from custody on or before 10 May.


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