'Fake News and False Intelligence': China Hits Back at UK Spy Agency Chief Over 'Debt Traps' Remarks
Richard Moore, who has recently been appointed as the new chief of the United Kingdom's Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), on Tuesday indicated that the “rise of China” is one of his agency's single priorities.
The Chinese embassy in London has snapped back at MI6 chief Richard Moore, saying that his claims on the alleged "debt traps" and "data traps" that waylay countries which seek to engage with Beijing are based on "false intelligence, not factual evidence," according to Sky News
"The truth is there is not a single country that has fallen into the so-called 'debt trap' as a result of borrowing from China," the embassy's spokesperson reportedly stated.
China accused the United Kingdom of "peddling fake news and false intelligence" by making claims about the "traps" that Beijing is allegedly setting for other countries. According to the embassy, Beijing is in fact the "main victim of cyber theft and attacks, and a staunch defender of cyber security."
The embassy spokesperson also underlined that China does not interfere in other countries' affairs or impose "its own will on others or seek any political benefits."
"We urge the UK side to correct its mistakes, stop playing the trick of a thief crying 'stop thief' and cease its unfounded attacks against China," the statement stressed.
The statement comes shortly after Moore delivered his first major public speech as new MI6 chief on Tuesday. Among other things, he outlined what his agency viewed as its main priorities, and it appeared that Beijing and its "rise" brings particular concerns to the British spies.
“The Chinese intelligence services are highly capable, and continue to conduct large-scale espionage operations against the UK and our allies. Beijing believes its own propaganda about Western frailties and underestimates Washington's resolve. The risk of Chinese miscalculation through overconfidence is real," he said.
Before his address, he gave an interview to BBC Radio 4, which is where he accused Beijing of setting up "traps" for other countries.
According to Moore, the "data traps," for example, mean that if you allow another country to gain access to really critical data about your society, over time that will erode your sovereignty, you no longer have control over that data." When speaking about "debt traps," he referred to how Beijing extracts concessions from countries when they default on loan repayments.