Arrests of ‘Chinese Spies’ at Top UK Universities Expected Within Weeks: Report

A Chinese soldier holds a Chinese flag during Peace Mission-2016 joint military exercises of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the Edelweiss training area in Balykchy some 200 km from Bishkek on September 19, 2016. The joint anti-terrorism drill involves more than 1,100 troops of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan …
VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images

An investigation being conducted at the top levels of the British government into British academia is expected to result in the arrests of Chinese “spies”, who are believed to have passed military technological secrets to the communist regime in Beijing.

Foreign Office, Special Branch, and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigators have reportedly drawn up a list of British academics who are believed to have provided information on secretive technology which is thought to have been used by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to oppress ethnic minorities and political dissidents.

The investigation is expected to lead to arrests of academics within weeks, according to a report from the Mail on Sunday.

The report went on to reveal that the investigators have “established a correlation” between British universities which are heavily reliant upon tuition from Chinese students and the alleged technology transfers committed by the academics.

According to the MoS, the main institutions under investigation are Manchester University and Imperial College London — both of which earn around 26 per cent of their income from Chinese students — the universities of Liverpool and Sheffield (28 per cent), and Oxford and Cambridge, which earn some ten per cent of their income from Chinese students.

The paper did note, however, that currently there has been no indication that the universities themselves were involved in any wrongdoing or were aware of what the academics are alleged to have done.

It is believed that the unnamed British academics may have breached the 2008 Export Control Order, violations of which carry a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.

In February, Britain’s top foreign intelligence agency, MI6, reportedly began investigating “some of the most prestigious universities in the country” for possible violations of national security laws through joint projects with Chinese weapons developers.

It was later revealed that 200 British academics were allegedly under investigation for sharing tech with the communist regime.

Imperial College London’s links to the Chinese military was detailed in a report this month from the think tank Civitas, entitled Arming China? The Chinese Military Complex and Its Potential Exploitation of Scientific Research at UK Universities, which claimed that 14 out of the top 24 UK universities had links with Chinese military weapons developers.

Imperial College London — which signed a £5 million deal with CCP-linked tech giant Huawei last year — was revealed to have at least “four research centres sponsored by major Chinese weapons suppliers”, which included the development of next-generation stealth technology for China’s air force.

The Civitas report also claimed that Cambridge University has worked with the National University of Defense Technology, an outfit tied to the Chinese military that has been sanctioned by the United States.

Cambridge claimed that there work with China was above board, saying: “All of the university’s research is subject to ethics governance and export control regulations.”

The University of Manchester was accused of supplying “China’s main nuclear missile conglomerate with a UK taxpayer-funded research centre”.

Amid the public backlash, Manchester University cancelled an agreement with China Electronics Technology Corporation after it was revealed that the military firm had provided technology to the concentration camp region of Xinjiang.

The university claimed that it was unaware of the connections between the firm and the genocidal treatment of Muslim Uyghurs in the region.

The author of the Civitas report, Radomir Tylecote, said: “British taxpayers are paying for research that might unintentionally help China’s military soon attain a potentially dominant position,” adding: “This is strategically incoherent – especially when UK spending on research for its own military needs is so anaemic.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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