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UK under threat by China as ex-MI6 chief warns of next 'aggressive step'

The former head of MI6 Sir Richard Dearlove has detailed how China could launch an attack on Britain. He explained that Xi Jinping is in a position to deny any wrongdoing despite Britain being able to find out who the culprit is. Sky News host Sophy Ridge asked him: “The Mail on Sunday is reporting that there are fears among ministers that China could launch a cyber attack on the UK similar to one believed to have happened in Australia recently. How much of a threat do you think that is?”

Sir Richard said told the broadcaster: “It’s a very aggressive step for the Chinese to take at this point in time.

“I wonder if they would go that far at the moment but it is a threat.

“They have significant capability in this area and they can probably do it in a manner where we’ll know who the culprit is, they can say deny it.

“Of course it’s a threat. We’ve known quite significantly that China have developed this capability and are prepared to use it.”

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He went on to explain how the Government appears to have “changed its view” on the use of equipment made by Chinese telecoms company Huawei in the UK’s 5G network.

Sir Richard has previously outlined his strong opposition to the Government’s plan to allow a limited role for Huawei in the development of the new mobile phone infrastructure despite its own acknowledgment that it is a “high-risk vendor”.

Asked if the Government will change its mind on allowing Huawei a role in the building of the UK’s 5G network, Sir Richard said: “That’s certainly my expectation.

“I mean, I don’t have any direct inside knowledge but I think I’m one of the individuals who has been pressing very hard for Huawei to be excluded from the UK’s 5G.

He added: “I think the relationship between the Chinese state and Huawei is absolutely clear-cut.

“Huawei is not a sort of ordinary international telecommunications company, it’s an intimate part of the Chinese state.

“And if you know anything about Chinese military strategy, they talk about the fusion of civil and military capabilities.

“There is a close linkage undoubtedly between the Chinese military capability and Huawei.”



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