China’s Tech Presents ‘Huge Threat’ to Freedom: UK Intelligence Chief

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The chief of Britain’s cyber-intelligence agency will accuse China of using economic and technological means to crush dissent at home and force compliance abroad, according to transcripts of a speech released ahead of schedule.

Beijing’s communist leadership is driven by fear and poses “a huge threat to us all,” according to extracts of a speech set to be delivered by Jeremy Fleming, director of the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

GCHQ is one of Britain’s three main intelligence agencies, alongside MI5 and MI6.

According to the extracts, Fleming will tell a meeting of the Royal United Services Institute think tank that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which rules China as a single-party state, seeks to “shape the global tech ecosystem” through the manipulation of digital currencies and predatory use of satellite systems.

“They seek to secure their advantage through scale and through control,” Fleming will say.

“This means they see opportunities to control the Chinese people rather than looking for ways to support and unleash their citizens’ potential. They see nations as either potential adversaries or potential client states, to be threatened, bribed, or coerced.”

Underlying this need to control the Chinese people and attack non-communist ways of life is a “sense of fear,” Fleming will say, including an immense fear of the Chinese people themselves.

“And we’re seeing that fear play out through the manipulation of the technological ecosystems which underpin our everyday lives—from monitoring its own citizens and restricting free speech to influencing financial systems and new domains,” Fleming will say.

He is also slated to warn that CCP leadership seeks to fragment the internet’s infrastructure to exert greater control over populations worldwide.

Those comments appear to echo the sentiments of previous reports that found the regime is attempting to build its own distinct “technosphere” with its technologies, policies, and practices.

Fleming will also speak on the issue of how CCP authorities are using digital currencies to snoop on users’ transactions and leveraging  BeiDou satellite systems to deny other nations access to space-based data.

He will call on Western firms and researchers to strengthen intellectual property protections and to develop alternatives to Chinese technology, which Fleming will argue brings “hidden costs.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

Andrew Thornebrooke


Andrew Thornebrooke is a reporter for The Epoch Times covering China-related issues with a focus on defense, military affairs, and national security. He holds a master’s in military history from Norwich University.

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