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CCP using ‘pressure to bend other countries to its will’ warns MI5 Director General Ken McCallum

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

PRESS RELEASE: CCP using ‘pressure to bend other countries to its will’ warns MI5 Director General Ken McCallum

17 November 2022 – Yesterday, MI5 Director General Ken McCallum delivered his annual threat update to an invited audience at the Thames House headquarters. On the threat the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) presents, McCallum stated that “we’re seeing an increasingly assertive China using overt and covert pressure to bend other countries to its will.” Further, he said that MI5 is aware of Chinese authorities playing the long game in cultivating contacts to manipulate opinion in China’s favor, not just Parliamentarians but also people much earlier in their careers. The Chinese authorities present a different order of challenge. On this, McCullum stated, “they’re trying to re-write the rulebook, to buy the league, to recruit our coaching staff to work for them.” McCallum welcomed that the Government recently announced a taskforce, reaching out cross-party, to focus on protecting UK democratic institutions and freedoms and looks forward to working with Security Minister Tom Tugendhat MP in countering any threats posed by China. On what MI5 expects from the updated Integrated Review, McCallum expects resilience to feature centrally in the Government’s refresh of its Integrated Review of security. The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation (CFHK Foundation) firmly supports these statements and believes the UK Government must appropriately and firmly address the issue of CCP influence in the UK. The CFHK Foundation also welcomes an appropriate refresh of the Integrated Review of Security. CFHK Foundation President Mark Clifford stated: “This statement from the MI5 Director General is a welcome change from Prime Minister Sunak’s refusal to name China a threat at the G20 summit. The CFHK Foundation supports McCallum’s statement and warning of the very real CCP threat to UK democratic institutions and freedoms. “The UK Government should heed his words and address the malign CCP influence in the UK as well as ensure the safety of its citizens. China is a threat to many countries and the UK should lead by example in protecting national security and safeguarding its citizens.”

About the CFHK Foundation The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation presses for political and economic consequences for China’s failure to keep its promises to respect Hong Kong’s freedoms; supports the rule of law, freedom of expression, and the release of political prisoners; and urges the business community to stand against China’s assault on freedom and the danger it poses to Hong Kong’s status as an international financial centre. Hong Kong’s fate is linked to the preservation of freedom, democracy, and international law in the region and around the world. For more information, please contact: @thecfhk

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