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Rishi Sunak’s statement on Chinese interference in UK’s democracy 

Rishi Sunak on Chinese interference

Rishi Sunak has stated he “will not accept” Chinese interference in the UK’s democracy after it appeared a parliamentary researcher was detained amid charges he spied for China.

PM’s Stern Warning to China at G20 Summit: 

In a recent statement to Members of Parliament (MPs), the UK Prime Minister (PM) issued a stern warning to China regarding espionage and interference in British democracy. During the G20 summit in India, the PM conveyed to Chinese Premier Li Qiang that any attempts at spying on the UK would “never be tolerated.”

Arrests Under the Official Secrets Act:

The Metropolitan Police confirmed on Saturday that two individuals had been arrested in March under the Official Secrets Act. These arrests are related to allegations of espionage, which have stirred significant concern within the government and the public.

Researcher Denies Allegations:

The individual accused of espionage, identified as a researcher, vehemently denies these allegations. In response to media reports, the accused issued a statement asserting innocence and expressing a sense of being compelled to respond to the accusations.

China Rejects Accusations:

China has categorically rejected the allegations of spying. Foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning described them as “malicious slander.” The diplomatic tension arising from these allegations is a matter of concern in the international arena.

Parliamentary Caution and Secrecy:

House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has cautioned MPs against using parliamentary privilege to identify the accused individual. The identity of the accused is being withheld by the BBC, in line with these concerns.

UK’s Commitment to Democracy and Security: 

During a statement to the House of Commons regarding the G20 summit in India, Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr. Sunak reiterated the UK government’s unwavering commitment to defending its democracy and security. He emphasized that the UK would not accept any interference in its democratic processes and parliamentary system.

Foreign Secretary’s Concerns:

Mr. Sunak further revealed that Foreign Secretary James Cleverly had raised concerns about China’s attempts to interfere with UK democracy during his recent visit to China. These efforts underscore the seriousness of the issue on both diplomatic and security fronts.

The Constant Threat to UK Democracy:

In response to the developments, Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir Starmer emphasized that incidents like these highlight the constant threats faced by the UK concerning its national security and democratic processes. The situation remains fluid as diplomatic tensions between the UK and China continue to escalate.

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