British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed “significant concerns” about alleged interference from Beijing during a conversation with Chinese Premier Li Qiang. This discussion transpired shortly after reports emerged of two individuals being apprehended in the UK on suspicion of spying for China.
Sunak emphasized his apprehensions regarding any potential interference in the UK’s parliamentary democracy, deeming such actions unacceptable. He conveyed these concerns to Premier Li Qiang during their meeting in New Delhi, where they were both attending the Group of 20 summit.
One of the suspects, a male in his late twenties who had previously worked as a researcher on international policy matters in the House of Commons, was taken into custody by counterterrorism authorities in March. Another individual in his thirties was also apprehended in connection with the case. This development was first reported by The Sunday Times.
Chinese state media, in a separate release regarding the Sunak-Li meeting, reported the Chinese premier’s stance on keeping trade and economic cooperation separate from matters of politics and security.
Speaking on Sky News, UK Justice Secretary Alex Chalk characterized China as a “challenge of epoch-defining proportions,” amending his statement to “challenge” after the initial phrasing. Chalk underscored the rigorous approach taken to ensure access to Parliament, while indicating that further insights may emerge once the police investigation concludes.