Loyal members of the Communist Party of China work in British consulates, universities and for some of the UK's leading corporations, as The Mail may show on Sunday.
An exceptionally leaked database of 1.95 million registered party members shows how Beijing's malevolent influence has now extended to almost every corner of British life, including defense companies, banks and pharmaceuticals.
Most alarmingly, some of its members – who swear a solemn oath to "keep party secrets, remain loyal to the party, work hard, have fought for communism all my life … and never betray the party" – Jobs are said to have been secured in British consulates.
Among them is a senior official from the British Consulate in Shanghai. There are also secret service agents from the British security services at headquarters.
The official describes her role as a supporter of ministers and officials in visits to eastern China.
Loyal members of the Communist Party of China work in British consulates, universities and for some of the UK's leading corporations, as The Mail may show on Sunday. An exceptionally leaked database of 1.95 million registered party members shows how Beijing's malevolent influence has now spread to almost every area of British life, including defense companies, banks and pharmaceuticals. (Top picture, front, President Xi Jinping at a CCP meeting)
The database was originally published in Telegram, the encrypted instant messaging app, and forwarded in September by a Chinese dissident to the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance for China, which includes more than 150 lawmakers around the world affected by the influence and activities of the EU are Chinese government. A detailed analysis of the material by the MoS shows that pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and AstraZeneca – both involved in the development of coronavirus vaccines – had a total of 123 party supporters
The analysis also found that in 2016 there were more than 600 party members in 19 branches at UK banks HSBC and Standard Chartered. Both have criticized their reaction to Beijing's actions in Hong Kong
Defense companies including Airbus, Boeing, and Rolls-Royce employed hundreds of party members
While there's no evidence anyone on the party membership roster was spying on China – and many are simply signing up to improve their career opportunities – experts say that it goes against credibility that some are not involved in espionage. In response to the results, an alliance of 30 MPs said last night they would raise an urgent question on the matter in the House of Commons.
Former Tory Party leader Iain Duncan Smith wrote in The Mail today Sunday: “This research shows that members of the Chinese Communist Party are now scattered around the world and are members of some of the world's most important multinational corporations, academic institutions , work and our own diplomatic services.
The government must now try to expel and remove all Communist Party members from our consuls across China. You can serve either the UK or the Chinese Communist Party. You can't do both. & # 39;
Former Tory Party leader Iain Duncan Smith (above) writes in The Mail today: “This research shows that members of the Chinese Communist Party are now scattered around the world, with members working for some of the world's most important multinationals , academic institutions and our own diplomatic services & # 39;
The Foreign Office insisted yesterday evening that it had "robust procedures to ensure information security and to screen the staff at our overseas posts". It goes without saying that they are aware that they are employing party members.
However, a senior Whitehall intelligence source said the revelations raised security issues. "In this station, the officer will be sitting one floor away from the MI6 team and could have identified intelligence officers."
The database was originally published in Telegram, the encrypted instant messaging app, and forwarded to the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance for China (IPAC) in September by a Chinese dissident, which includes more than 150 lawmakers around the world affected by the influence and the The activities of the Chinese government are affected.
It dates from 2016 and contains the names of party members in Shanghai, the largest city in China and its financial center.
The list is broken down into more than 79,000 offices, many of which are affiliated with individual companies or organizations.
In total, the Chinese Communist Party has more than 92 million members, but competition to join is fierce, with fewer than one in ten applicants successful.
After authenticating the material, IPAC, with the help of data security analysts Internet 2.0, forwarded the database to four media companies around the world, including The Mail am Sonntag. A detailed analysis of this newspaper shows that:
- A party member who studied at St. Andrews University worked at various consulates in Shanghai, including the UK.
- Chinese scientists, sworn to support the party, visited British universities where they were engaged in potentially sensitive research areas such as aerospace engineering and chemistry.
- In 2016, more than 600 party members worked in 19 branches at the UK banks HSBC and Standard Chartered. Both have criticized their reaction to Beijing's actions in Hong Kong.
- Pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and AstraZeneca, both involved in the development of coronavirus vaccines, employed a total of 123 party allegiances.
- Defense companies including Airbus, Boeing, and Rolls-Royce employed hundreds of party members.
Security sources believe the initial data leak came from a dissident targeting an outwardly inconspicuous office building in Shanghai where the records were located.
Despite the near certainty that if caught, he or she would be executed for treason, he or she likely accessed it through a server before downloading it to a laptop and posting it on Telegram, where it was found by IPAC.
In total, the Chinese Communist Party has more than 92 million members, but competition to join is fierce, with fewer than one in ten applicants successful. (Above President Xi Jinping from China)
In addition to the names of the members, the database contains places, dates of birth, Chinese ethnicity and, in some cases, addresses and telephone numbers.
The consular officer is registered with a Communist Party in a company called The Shanghai Foreign Agency Service Corporation, a state employment agency.
Oath of loyalty sworn by party members
New members of the Chinese Communist Party swear an oath of loyalty in front of a traditional hammer and sickle flag to signal proletarian solidarity.
With their fists raised, they say: “It is my will to join the Communist Party of China, to uphold the party's program, to abide by the provisions of the party constitution, to carry out the duties of a party member, to carry out the party's decisions, to strictly observe party discipline. Keep the secrets of the party, be loyal to the party, work hard, fight for communism all my life, be ready at any time to sacrifice everything for the party and the people and never betray the party. & # 39;
While there are 92 million members across China, that's only six percent of the population. Indeed, competition is fierce, with fewer than 1 in 10 eligible applicants.
The rewards are not purely ideological. Leadership positions in business, science and government are held almost exclusively by party members.
Experts say that since taking office in 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping has emphasized the importance of the party, whose members are forced to attend more regular meetings and undergo evaluation.
The company employs nearly 2,000 people and provides "comprehensive, high-quality services to more than 100 overseas organizations in Shanghai, including overseas consulates, foreign news media, and overseas schools" on its website.
Analysis of the data shows that in 2016 at least 249 Communist Party members were registered with the agency.
The academics on the membership list include some who live and work in the UK. This includes a research assistant in aerospace engineering at a leading university who also works for a private company.
Aerospace engineering is described by the UK government as one of the seven most militarily sensitive university subjects.
Students from countries that are not part of the EU or the & # 39; Five Eyes & # 39; network of Great Britain, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand must have an ATAS certificate (Academic Technology Approval Scheme).
During the application process, they are asked to declare government funding, although some security experts fear that the review process is not rigorous enough. The research assistant did not respond to a request for comment last night.
US security services are increasingly concerned about the threat of Chinese espionage on campus.
In the nine months to September, 14 Chinese nationals were charged with alleged espionage crimes, and the Trump administration last week changed their visa requirements so that Chinese Communist Party members and their families can only stay for a month or obtain travel documents.
Last week, US director of national security, John Ratcliffe, warned that China posed "the greatest threat to democracy and freedom" since World War II and is seeking to "dominate the planet economically, militarily and technologically".
Australia revoked the visas of two professors from China in September on suspicion of being involved in espionage. One of the men appears on the leaked membership list.
The database also shows that party members work for many UK and international companies in China, some of which are in the defense or pharmaceutical industries.
Rolls-Royce, Boeing, Airbus and French defense firm Thales each have dozens or more party members on their books, while UK banking giants HSBC and Standard Chartered both have hundreds. Jaguar Land Rover was another company with employees who were party members.
Last week, John Ratcliffe (above), the US director of national security, warned that China posed "the greatest threat to democracy and freedom" since World War II and is seeking to "dominate the planet economically, militarily and technologically."
Cosco, a large Chinese shipping company, even has two branches in Great Britain for its seven members. Three of them are in Felixstowe Port, Suffolk, which handles almost half of Britain's container trade.
In total, the list for 2016 contains 2,909 members who work for Cosco in 118 offices worldwide.
None of the above companies said they had banned members of the Chinese Communist Party from employment.
There is no evidence that any of the above companies were deliberately espionage or a victim of espionage, and each company insists that measures have been taken to protect their data, employees and customers.
Former Foreign Office diplomat and China expert Matthew Henderson responded to the results, saying, “This is further evidence of how China has made its way into the UK establishment. We dance with rabid wolves to drive a wedge between Britain and America, overthrow democracy and overtake the West. & # 39;
Sam Armstrong of the Henry Jackson Society's foreign policy think tank said: "This is a deeply troubling example of the spread of China around the world that we cannot look away from and which we must address directly."
A former CIA and White House intelligence analyst who specializes in East Asian affairs said, “This is the Chinese Communist Party and you cannot trust them. They are always looking for ways to use relationships, friendships, etc. to further the interests of the Communist Party. & # 39;
However, Robbie Barnett, a member of the Lau China Institute at King & # 39; s College London and the London School of Oriental and African Studies, said, “It is unlikely that many members in China actually believe in or care about communism care, so it is largely a nation project, not an ideological one.
"That's just one of the many reasons why a McCarthyist approach doesn't make sense, even if it's a gross violation of people's human rights."
Last night, a spokeswoman for the Chinese embassy said, "We urge the media to abandon the Cold War ideological bias and mentality and look at China, the Chinese Communist Party and China's development in a rational and impartial way."
Chained: media mogul who defied tyranny
The businessman Jimmy Lai is handcuffed, shackled in chains and flanked by police officers. He is being tried for collaborating with foreign powers.
The pro-democracy media mogul, one of the few business leaders in Hong Kong to speak out against the draconian new national security laws, was denied bail yesterday for urging overseas sanctions to be imposed.
The 73-year-old Lai, owner of the pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily and founder of Next Digital Media, has repeatedly called for international action against the erosion of freedoms in Hong Kong.
Take action: Democratic businessman Jimmy Lai, who is chained to a guard around his waist and wrists, was brought to trial yesterday
The charges are reportedly related to tweets he posted, including one in May calling on Donald Trump to impose sanctions on China and his decision to run an English-language edition of Apple Daily.
Hong Kong politician Ted Hui, who lives in the UK after being forced into exile, told Radio 4's Today program: “I feel extremely heavy watching my friends go to jail, maybe for life. Freedom of speech has completely collapsed in Hong Kong and is extremely alarming to the world. & # 39;
The arrest of Mr. Lai is the latest crackdown on Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement since the comprehensive national security law that Beijing passed this summer, which allows Chinese security forces to operate there.
Activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam were arrested last week for participating in an unauthorized protest last year. Youth activist Tony Chung was also convicted of defiling the Chinese flag last week and at least 16 other activists were arrested.
The devotee who works meters from MI6 spies
At least outwardly, the British consulate in Shanghai – at 17F Garden Square – appears completely inconspicuous. There is little to distinguish it from the other high-rises that populate the city's historic river district. What's going on inside is a whole different matter.
A consular officer identified in the leaked database is believed to be working by security sources near a team of MI6 officials operating under diplomatic cover. Interestingly, and some critics of the Chinese regime may think worryingly, the officer appears to be on the floor below or, as a security source put it, "down a flight of stairs."
There is no evidence that anything unpleasant happened, but the simple fact that a Chinese Communist Party member works in close proximity to intelligence officers has in itself been a cause for concern that Britain is "playing with fire".
Long known as the city of intrigue, Shanghai was dubbed the Paris of the East, China's most modern metropolis, a haven for gangsters and intellectuals, colonial masters and radicals, the new rich and the ultra-poor, in the 1930s.
The communist revolution changed all of this and the city's famous vitality was largely eradicated. Even in the late 1980s, when other parts of China were rapidly modernizing, Shanghai lagged behind.
Now its look is positively futuristic. The skyscrapers in the shiny financial district of Pudong, for example, dwarf the old colonial waterfront promenade over the Huangpu River.
A senior Whitehall security source claimed, “This station (the officer) will be one floor away from the security team.
"In theory, anyone walking past the spot the officer works and up the stairs could be identified as an intelligence officer and that information returned to the Communist Party."
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