Chinese spies are reportedly trying to enter the UK by posing as refugees as part of a plan to resettle people from Hong Kong.
Government sources have confirmed that so-called sleeper agents have applied for UK national visas (abroad) in an attempt to steal security secrets.
Senior officials say it is time to “realize” the risks posed by China.
Sleeper agents are spies who infiltrate before permanently residing in a country. They are used to acting as a potential asset, rather than carrying out a task ahead.
The source told the Times: “There are tough background checks on visa applications.
“The BNO visa system verification process is more complete than the others.”
Lord Patton, the last governor of Hong Kong, said: “We are dealing with a dictatorial state that uses informants.
“If anyone is worried that the Chinese Communist Party seeks to keep informants and individuals stealing security secrets in an open society, they are completely justified.
“We must be true”
“We have to be realistic about it.”
The Home Office has assured concerned UKs that there are “safeguards” during the visa application process that are non-abusive and that it helps those in need.
Britain announces new visa rules, allowing 300,000 Hong Kong people to flee to the UK last year.
These changes allow BNO passport holders to stay longer and obtain citizenship.
The decision came after the Chinese parliament voted to move forward with a national security law for Hong Kong.
Beijing passed a strict “slavery and terrorism” law against what it calls “treason.”
The new bill allows those who oppose the communist regime to be punished.
Most worryingly, he demands global jurisdiction – meaning China may want to investigate, prosecute and extradite “suspects” anywhere in the world.
What is a sleeper agent?
Sleeper agents infiltrate a target country before “sleeping” and are sometimes used for years.
They do nothing to contact or obtain information from agents other than those already in the public domain.
Instead, they created new identities and settled in their target country.
They will find jobs and have families – while waiting for their orders.
The goal is to have them when needed. Therefore, they were not given immediate work.
Jack Parsky was planted as a sleeper agent in the United States by the KGB between 1978 and 1988.
He was discovered by U.S. authorities in 1994, but was not arrested until 1997.
After his arrest, he quickly confessed and told the United States about espionage techniques.
So far, more than 30,000 people living in Hong Kong have applied to come to the UK.
Many people are worried after the Apple Daily newspaper was forced to close and its owner Jimmy Loy was imprisoned.
Lai, 73, is a pro-democracy figure. He was jailed for 14 months in April for participating in an “illegal assembly.”
Speaking about the law last year, Boris Johnson said it “threatens freedom and rights.”
“If China continues on this path, we will introduce a new route for people of British foreign national status to enter the UK, with limited leave to stay and work in the UK willingly. For citizenship, that is what we are going to do now,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden announced last week that thousands of Hong Kong residents would be granted temporary asylum in the United States – because their freedom is being violated by China.
Britain relinquished control of Hong Kong in 1997, ending its 99-year lease in 1898.
Since then, Hong Kong has operated as a semi-autonomous region, regulating its own trade, tax and immigration policies under the “one country, two systems” policy.
The deal was expected to last 50 years, but opposition figures in Hong Kong have long feared they could regain control of Beijing.
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