CHINESE agents are feared to be using "sex and cash to woo US and UK officials" after a "Communist agent" was found at the heart of Westminster.
MI5 chiefs have previously warned that China is actively using espionage in an effort to influence political figureheads and steal trade secrets.
Rishi Sunak told Chinese premier Li Qiang he has “significant concerns about Chinese interference in the UK’s parliamentary democracy” at a G20 meeting this morning, a No 10 spokesman said, following the arrest of a parliamentary researcher accused of spying for China.
The British parliamentary researcher is understood to have had links to MPs with classified information and is claimed to have gained access to several politicians privy to classified or highly sensitive information in what is thought to be one of the biggest-ever spying breaches at Westminster.
UK Justice Secretary Alex Chalk said that the government is taking the claims "extremely seriously" while stating that "China is an epoch-defining challenge" as he spoke on the investigation.
But this is not the first case of its kind as MPs and experts revealed from as early as 2018 that it is almost a "certainty" that Chinese agents are active in the UK and the US.
The alarm was sounded after a US court sentenced Xu Yanjun - a Chinese spy - to 20 years in prison after he was convicted of plotting to steal trade secrets.
Yanjun was accused of playing a leading role in a five-year Chinese state-backed scheme to steal commercial secrets from US and French aviation and aerospace companies.
Following the incident, US officials said the Chinese government poses the biggest long-term threat to US economic and national security - but China’s foreign ministry labeled the charges against Xu “pure fabrication”.
China has also allegedly used a network of "honey trap" spies to lure British and American officials with sex.
The network of "beautiful women" were believed to be using platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook to connect with their prey before luring them in.
They will then bed the target, and use their influence over them to try and extort valuable information for the Communist Party.
Chinese operatives, however, were said to not just be looking for high-profile politicians, but warned that aides, staffers, and interns could also be at risk.
TIP OF THE ICEBERG
Theresa May's aides were told to be aware of "Chinese spies offering sex" during a visit to the G20 in Hangzhou back in 2016.
And in 2008, MI5 issued a warning that China may use "sexual relationships" to "pressurise individuals to cooperate with them".
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson's former No.2 when he was London Mayor, Ian Clement, revealed in 2009 that he believes he had sex with a Chinese spy.
He suspected he was lured into a honey trap while in Beijing, taking a woman up to his hotel room during the 2008 Olympics.
Clement, who had been briefed by MI6 on the danger, was then drugged before finding the room had been ransacked.
The woman had rifled the Tories through confidential documents and downloaded details about how the capital is run from his BlackBerry smartphone.
And back in China in 2012 it emerged an 18-year-old woman, Zhao Hongxia, was used to bring down a Communist Party official by filming a sex tape with him to extort him.
She was reportedly employed by a criminal gang - but her sting ended up with Chinese anti-corruption officials bringing down the party boss.
But this was just the tip of the iceberg, in a long series of incidents that saw suspected Chinese spies attempting to lure in British and American officials.
In December 2020 it emerged US Congressman Eric Swalwell had a relationship with suspected Chinese spy Christine Fang.
Known as Fang Fang, she also reportedly had sex with two mayors and targeted politicians to infiltrate US political circles.
The suspected spy targeted aspiring politicians from 2011 to 2015 and had a reported focus on Swalwell.
Fang was believed to have been sent to gather information in the US by the Ministry of State Security in China.
The Democrat rising star was reported to have cut ties with her after being warned about her by the FBI in 2015, as first reported by Axios.
Shortly after this and as federal agents were circling, she fled the US.
The revelations about Swalwell and Fang sent shockwaves through the political world in the US - with former CIA officials warning there could be "thousands" of Chinese agents in America.
MI5 has said it was "looking to do more" to counter the threat from China, and its chief Ken McCallum described the nation as Britain's biggest long-term spy challenge.
Benedict Rogers, who founded the Conservative Party's human rights commission and Hong Kong Watch, previously told The Sun Online he "wouldn't be surprised" if China is using honey traps in the UK.
He warned there has been "naivety and kowtowing" to China's intentions and he urged the West to stand together to combat a "particularly angry and aggressive" China post-pandemic.
Then in January 2022, MI5 raised the alarm again as Chinese national Christine Lee was accused of trying to influence Labour MP Barry Gardiner, as well as several others.
Lee was accused of "facilitating financial donations to serving and aspiring politicians" - having forked over £675,586.88 to either Mr Gardiner's office or the Labour Party.
Officials were left fearful that Westminster was riddled with foreign agents after MI5 warned MPs to avoid Lee.
MI5 spooks alleged in an alert that Lee had “acted covertly in coordination” with the United Front Work Department (UFWD), of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and was “judged to be involved in political interference activities in the UK.”
Lee had even rubbed shoulders with Jeremy Corbyn, and David Cameron and received a Points of Light Award from Theresa May.
Following the incident, The Chinese Embassy in London denied claims of any political interference.
A spokesman said at the time: “We have no need and never seek to ‘buy influence’ in any foreign parliament.”