How Beijing uses its billions to buy political influence around the world: From £685bn invested in the Commonwealth, building 5G ‘spy’ networks to ‘take-overs’ through Latin America and Africa… as China’s British ‘spy’ is revealed

How Beijing uses its billions to buy political influence around the world: From £685bn invested in the Commonwealth, building 5G ‘spy’ networks to ‘take-overs’ through Latin America and Africa… as China’s British ‘spy’ is revealed

Daily Mail

Allegations that a suspected Chinese spy has donated more than £500,000 to a senior Labour MP in Britain appear to fit part and parcel with Beijing’s modus operandi — using its billions in cash to buy political influence across the planet.

Barry Gardiner, who was a member of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, received the donations from Christine Ching Kui Lee — mainly to cover staffing costs in his office — over a period of six years, and employed her son as his diary manager.

MI5 took the rare step of issuing MPs and peers with a warning today about Miss Lee’s cultivating of British politicians to secure a ‘UK political landscape’ that was ‘favourable’ to China’s authoritarian government.

In recent years, Beijing’s ruthless bid for world power has seen the Communist Party make more aggressive interventions in the internal affairs of smaller — and often poorer — sovereign states in Latin America and the Caribbean.

China last month struck deals with a string of countries across Latin America to build up ‘civilian’ nuclear technology, develop space programmes and build 5G mobile networks which the US says could be used to spy on millions of people.

Beijing has even pledged to build schools and fund classes teaching Chinese language and ‘culture’, though such institutions have been criticised elsewhere for pushing state propaganda and limiting academic freedom.

According to Mateo Haydar, a researcher at the Heritage Foundation, China has ambitions to become ‘the dominant influence in Latin America’.

Meanwhile, Beijing has invested more than £685billion across 42 Commonwealth member states since 2005. Security experts argue that by ploughing huge sums of money into countries such as Barbados and Jamaica, the Chinese government hopes to saddle them with such big unpayable debts that they are forced to hand over the assets used as security.

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