Secret British ‘black propaganda’ campaign targeted cold war enemies

The British government ran a secret “black propaganda” campaign for decades, targeting Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia with leaflets and reports from fake sources aimed at destabilising cold war enemies by encouraging racial tensions, sowing chaos, inciting violence and reinforcing anti-communist ideas, newly declassified documents have revealed. The effort, run from the mid-1950s through to the late 70s by a unit in London that was part of the Foreign Office, was focused on cold war enemies such as the Soviet Union and China, leftwing liberation groups and…

Russia-Ukraine crisis a ‘dangerous moment for the world’, warns Truss

The UK foreign secretary, Liz Truss, has warned of a “dangerous moment for the world” as the “highly likely” prospect of a Russian invasion of Ukraine could embolden other countries such as Iran and China to expand their ambitions. Speaking on Sky News, Truss said “we could be on the brink of a war in Europe, which would have severe consequences not just for the people of Russian and Ukraine but for the broader security in Europe”, adding she was “very worried”. Her comments came as last-ditch efforts for a…

Liz Truss: why EU praise for foreign secretary may be unwanted

It was only a few months ago that Liz Truss, perhaps best known until recently for her strong feelings about the “disgrace” that is imported cheese, was appointed foreign secretary. Some had questioned Truss’s suitability for the role given a patchy record in the cabinet, but the liberty-loving minister has seemingly already made a mark on the global stage. While Downing Street was battling further claims over alleged lockdown-breaching parties, Truss was the recipient of two eye-catching reviews of her performance at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Over…

MPs criticise cyber agency for not aiding China rights group after it was hacked

Members of a cross-party China human rights group have accused Britain’s cybersecurity agency of “failing to respond” with help after their website was taken offline this week in an attack they fear came from Beijing. MPs from the Inter Parliamentary Alliance on China (Ipac) said the incident took place on Tuesday, days after the group had said publicly it was “deeply disturbed” by reports that an Anglo-Chinese lawyer had been trying to improperly influence parliamentarians in the UK. They complained the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) did not engage or…

How MI5 uncovered a Chinese ‘agent’ in parliament

Last week Britain’s security services issued an extraordinary warning to parliament naming Christine Lee, a well-known lawyer in London’s Chinese community, as an agent working covertly for the Chinese government. It is the first time MI5 has issued an “interference alert” relating to China and it cast a spotlight on the Labour MP Barry Gardiner, whose office received £584,177 worth of donations from Lee. Gardiner said he had been “liaising with our security services for a number of years about Christine Lee”. He added: “All the donations were properly reported…

No friendly politician is too obscure for insecure China, not even Barry Gardiner | Nick Cohen

The Chinese Communist party appears utterly deluded. Hasn’t it learned in its 100-year history that some politicians aren’t worth buying? Wasting its money, or rather the money of the subjugated Chinese people, on Barry Gardiner, of all MPs, seems more silly than sinister. Why bother? If you’ve never heard of him, Gardiner is an unremarkable Corbynista, who has continued the far left’s tradition of excusing anti-western dictatorships. The Labour MP took £420,000, a large whack even by the lax standards of Westminster, from Christine Ching Kui Lee, an influence-peddler MI5…

Damian Hinds says there will be review of suspected Chinese agent’s activities

A comprehensive review is to be held into how a suspected Chinese agent was able to get so close to senior British politicians, the security minister, Damian Hinds, has said. MI5, the domestic intelligence agency, on Thursday took the unusual step of circulating a warning to MPs accusing Christine Lee – a prominent London-based solicitor – of being engaged in “political interference activities” on behalf of China’s ruling communist regime. The Chinese embassy rejected the claims, accusing the authorities of “smearing and intimidation” against the Chinese community in the UK,…

MI5 accuses lawyer of trying to influence politicians on behalf of China

A security warning from MI5 has been circulated to MPs and peers accusing the lawyer Christine Lee of seeking to improperly influence parliamentarians on behalf of China’s ruling Communist party. The “interference alert” from the security service names and pictures Christine Ching Kui Lee as an individual who has allegedly “knowingly engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist party”. The notice added that the UFWD “is seeking to covertly interfere in UK politics through establishing links with established and aspiring…

UK public don’t want ‘perennial fights of a permanent Brexit’ with EU – report

The British public do not share the government’s appetite for perpetual conflict with the EU and more people see the bloc as a key future partner than the US, according to a report on post-Brexit foreign policy. “The Johnson government seems to need the perennial fights of a permanent Brexit,” the report, by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) thinktank, said, warning that its approach was “eroding the UK’s capacity to cooperate with the EU”. At the same time, it said, “the British public do not have any particular…

Truss bills UK G7 meeting as show of western unity against China and Russia

A new show of western unity against Russia and China is being lined up by the UK foreign secretary, Liz Truss, as she hosts a weekend meeting of G7 foreign ministers starting on Saturday. The G7 meeting, held against the backdrop of a potential invasion of Ukraine, tensions in the South China Sea and the potential collapse of the Iran nuclear deal, is being billed by Truss as a “chance to show a united front against malign behaviour – including Russian posturing towards Ukraine”. Truss will also pledge security and…

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