China threat: MI5 warns of mounting threat from Beijing – will be HUGE problem by 2030

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The new director general of the Security Service, Ken McCallum has revealed MI5 is looking to increase its work to counter Chinese activities. He also warned hostile states are targeting the UK’s democracy.

Mr McCallum said: “On state-based hostile activity, I think we are looking at two lines that are going to cross.

“If the question is – which countries’ intelligence services cause the most aggravating to the UK in October 2020 the answer is Russia.

“If on the other hand the question is which state will be shaping our world across the next decade, presenting big opportunities and big challenges for the UK the answer is China.

“You might think in terms of the Russian intelligence services providing burst of bad weather, while China is changing the climate.”

Tensions between Britain and Moscow have intensified since the publication of the Russia report which focused on whether the Kremlin had interfered with UK elections and referendums.

The investigation by the Investigation and Security Committee (ISC) found it would “difficult – if not impossible – to prove” Moscow tried to influence the Brexit vote from 2016.

It did however lash out at the Government for failing to recognise a threat posed by the Kremlin.

Despite finding the Kremlin did not meddle with the 2016 ballot, the inquiry suggested Russia had influence the Scottish independence vote back in 2014.

Beijing’s relationship with Britain has also grown increasingly strained over the last few months.

Back in May, UK Government officials were believed to have begun drawing up plans to phase out the Chinese-controlled mobile phone network Huawei despite agreeing to a role in delivering 5G networks.

The relationship reached boiling point after China pushed through the controversial Hong Kong security law.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to offer millions of Hong Kong residents a path to UK citizenship.

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After Mr Johnson’s comments, the Beijing state-controlled outlet The Global Times claimed the UK would have more to lose than China if a trade deal is scrapped.

Mr McCallum became the youngest head of MI5 when he took over from Sir Andrew Parker at the end of April.

When speaking about the different threats facing the UK, Mr McCallum warned they are becoming “more diverse” and “harder to spot”.

He told Sky News: “Those threats are becoming more diverse and in some ways harder to spot.

“We face a bit of a nasty mix – terrorism isn’t going away and state-backed hostile activity is on the rise.

“But let’s not make these people 10 feet tall.

“Based on hard experience, the UK has a mature national security system, MI5 is a capable member within a genuine team.

“Every day that team includes support from individual members of the public.

“Much of what we do needs to remain invisible, but what we are doesn’t.

“In fact, opening up in the right ways is key to our future success.

“Our increasingly diverse people, our partnerships in all sorts of places, and advances in technology give us reason to be confident.

“You will know when we’re succeeding – as nothing will hit the headlines.”

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