The head of MI6 has warned of ‘large-scale espionage operations.’

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The head of MI6 has warned of ‘large-scale espionage operations.’

The spying scandal in Westminster erupted just weeks after MI6’s director declared China to be his agency’s “top priority.”

Chinese intelligence units are conducting “large-scale espionage operations against the UK and our allies,” according to Richard Moore.

“We are concerned by the Chinese government’s attempt to distort public discourse and political decision-making across the globe,” he told a London audience.

“Adapting to a world shaped by China’s rise is MI6’s top priority.”

Across the UK intelligence community, we are improving our understanding of China.”

He warned that an overconfident China could pose a “serious threat” to world peace if it acted rashly on issues like Taiwan’s sovereignty.

According to the MI6 chief, spies are targeting people who work in government, industry, or research that Beijing is interested in.

Chinese agents are also spying on Chinese citizens in the United Kingdom.

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He described how the communist country employs “debt and data traps” to get its “hooks” into leaders.

Debt traps occur when countries are given loans they cannot repay, and as a result, they may be forced to do China’s bidding.

He also claimed that Beijing’s intelligence agencies are gathering data from around the world on such a large scale that it could endanger the sovereignty of some countries.

China’s leaders responded to Mr Moore’s speech by airing a childish James Bond spoof called No Time To Die Laughing on the state news agency.

It stars James Pond as a British agent who describes a “fictional Chinese debt trap and data trap” as a pathetic excuse to get more funding for British intelligence.

The spoof, however, backfired when Mr Moore tweeted, “Thank you for your interest (and the unexpected free publicity!)” in a rare public retort.

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