Head of British security service MI5, Ken McCallum, has warned that the UK is “in a struggle” with rigorous infiltration attempts from Russia and China.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail on Feb. 18, McCallum said spies for these countries were closing in on the prime minister’s advisers and members of parliament.
He said it was an all-out “contest” for international hegemony. The espionage attempts also sought to manipulate public thinking extract business secrets and information from universities and ordinary Britons.
He warned, “We need to be clear that there is in effect a contest of different worlds now taking place, sometimes visibly, sometimes invisibly, between the liberal democrat model West and the more authoritarian model nations.”
The situation has become so severe that he compared it to a “fight to keep our way of life.”
He said that “It’s important not to frame this as a Cold War II, but at the same time to be clear-eyed that we are in a struggle here.”
The more disturbing reality, as McCallum said, was that existing laws have become obsolete for MI5 to prosecute foreign spies and address the problem thoroughly.
He said, “We are in effect operating with one hand behind our back on state threats.”
The MI5 chief continued, “We do need to stand up for our values, for our system, for the benefits of the democratic way of life that we, and our allies, hold dear.”
MI5 just last month warned of a Chinese spy presence in the British parliament. The alleged agent, Christine Ching Kui Lee, has targeted the highest levels of parliamentarians on behalf of the Chinese regime to interfere in UK politics.
Christine Ching Kui Lee is a female lawyer in London and has donated money to the UK’s MPs. One of them received over $476,000 from her over the past five years. MI5 said the money came from foreign nationals in China and Hong Kong.
McCallum said that would not be the last MI5 alerts of top-profile foreign infiltration attempts.
He revealed that other MPs have since raised concerns about espionage. He also mentioned that Russia and China use LinkedIn and social media sites to conduct “online cultivation” of ordinary Britons at a “mass scale.”