Hong Kong Migrants Warn UK Government to Be Wary of CCP Infiltration

The British government's incentives toward Hong Kong people may provide exploitable opportunitiesIn early May, British MPs met some Hong Kong migrants who called on the UK government to watch out for infiltration from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that has threatened the safety of Hong Kong residents in the UK. On May 11, British Labor Party’s east and southeast Asian group presided over a meeting at the British Parliament with representatives of Hong Kong people, listening to their living needs in the UK, according to Radio Free Asia on May 14. Labor Party MP Stephen Kinnock stressed at the meeting his party’s support for the British National (Overseas) (BNO) visa program, a preferential policy to enable Hong Kong people to immigrate to the UK after the CCP implemented a National Security Law, violating its commitment to ensuring freedom and democracy in the former British colony. Simon Cheng, the founder of the British Hong Kong Association of Hongkongers, raised concerns about infiltration by the CCP into the UK. He said that the British government pledged £43 million (about $59 million) to resettle Hong Kong migrants in Britain, but some of the Chinese groups receiving funding are suspected of being controlled by the CCP. Cheng elaborated at the meeting that two directors of the Chinese Community Centre-Birmingham (CCC-B) which has obtained a £35,000 ($43,000) grant were revealed to have worked for the British–Chinese Project. The founder of the project, Chinese lawyer Christine Ching Kui Lee, was identified in a Jan. 12 MI5 Security Service Interference Alert (SSIA) as “an agent of the Chinese government.” The alert issued by the agency said an individual named Christine Ching Kui Lee has been “knowingly engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).” It said Lee has been facilitating financial donations to political parties and politicians, and warned that anyone contacted by her should be “mindful of her affiliation with the Chinese state and remit to advance the CCP’s agenda in UK politics.” Cheng was formerly director of Trade and Investment at the Scottish Development International (SDI) of the British Consulate General in Hong Kong. In August 2019, he was detained for 15 days by China’s state security while on a business trip to Shenzhen. Cheng told the Hong Kong edition of The Epoch Times on Nov. 25, 2021, that during his detention he had been tortured, isolated, and forced to admit guilt for acting “on behalf of the UK in the 2019 Hong Kong protests.” People hold up slogans such as “Break away from the Chinese Communist Party” during the New Year’s Day March on Jan. 1, 2020. (Wen Hanlin / The Epoch Times) Besides CCC-B, another Chinese association in Southampton was also accused of having ties with the CCP. An April 18 report in The Times pointed out Ping Hua, the founder of the Chinese Association of Southampton (CAS), who wrote an article defending the CCP’s abuse of Uighurs in Xinjiang and slammed U.S. accusations of the Chinese regime committing atrocities as an attempt to incite a “provocative subversion in Hong Kong.” Hua voiced similar opinions at a “Stop Anti-Asian Racism, Reject New Cold War” rally in London’s Chinatown on last Nov. 27. The rally sparked violence, leading to one person being taken to hospital and at least one person being arrested. CAS received £20,130 ($25,166) of UK funding. Also at the meeting with British MPs, Finn Lau, a Hong Kong political activist in his 90s, said he had been attacked in June 2020 on a street in London. On June 2, 2020, Lau was walking near his home in London when he realized he was being followed. He said he stopped at a streetlight, and three people suddenly came out and hit him. The attack caused a bone fracture in his right eye and left him with a severe concussion. Lau suggested that the attack may be related to the CCP paying gang members to commit violence. On Jan. 1, 2020, Lau participated in New Year’s Day March in Hong Kong and was apprehended together with many other protesters. He was discharged after a 50-hour detention and immediately bought a plane ticket back to the UK where he worked. After 7 months, in August 2020, the Hong Kong authority issued an arrest warrant for him. In this photo illustration, the UK Immigration: ID Check app on a mobile phone is seen in Hong Kong, China, on Feb. 23, 2021. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images) Labour Party MP Sarah Owen, the organizer of the meeting, questioned the government in Parliament about how to protect Hongkongers in Britain from violence by CCP gang members. James Cleverly, British Foreign Office minister, responded that the CCP persecution of these Hongkongers did not cease even when they arrived in the UK and that the authorities would take protecting Hongkongers into consideration seriously. Labor Party MPs Stephen Kinnock said, despite the CCP’s expanding erosion of democr

Hong Kong Migrants Warn UK Government to Be Wary of CCP Infiltration

The British government's incentives toward Hong Kong people may provide exploitable opportunities

In early May, British MPs met some Hong Kong migrants who called on the UK government to watch out for infiltration from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that has threatened the safety of Hong Kong residents in the UK.

On May 11, British Labor Party’s east and southeast Asian group presided over a meeting at the British Parliament with representatives of Hong Kong people, listening to their living needs in the UK, according to Radio Free Asia on May 14.

Labor Party MP Stephen Kinnock stressed at the meeting his party’s support for the British National (Overseas) (BNO) visa program, a preferential policy to enable Hong Kong people to immigrate to the UK after the CCP implemented a National Security Law, violating its commitment to ensuring freedom and democracy in the former British colony.

Simon Cheng, the founder of the British Hong Kong Association of Hongkongers, raised concerns about infiltration by the CCP into the UK. He said that the British government pledged £43 million (about $59 million) to resettle Hong Kong migrants in Britain, but some of the Chinese groups receiving funding are suspected of being controlled by the CCP.

Cheng elaborated at the meeting that two directors of the Chinese Community Centre-Birmingham (CCC-B) which has obtained a £35,000 ($43,000) grant were revealed to have worked for the British–Chinese Project. The founder of the project, Chinese lawyer Christine Ching Kui Lee, was identified in a Jan. 12 MI5 Security Service Interference Alert (SSIA) as “an agent of the Chinese government.”

The alert issued by the agency said an individual named Christine Ching Kui Lee has been “knowingly engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”

It said Lee has been facilitating financial donations to political parties and politicians, and warned that anyone contacted by her should be “mindful of her affiliation with the Chinese state and remit to advance the CCP’s agenda in UK politics.”

Cheng was formerly director of Trade and Investment at the Scottish Development International (SDI) of the British Consulate General in Hong Kong. In August 2019, he was detained for 15 days by China’s state security while on a business trip to Shenzhen.

Cheng told the Hong Kong edition of The Epoch Times on Nov. 25, 2021, that during his detention he had been tortured, isolated, and forced to admit guilt for acting “on behalf of the UK in the 2019 Hong Kong protests.”

Epoch Times Photo
People hold up slogans such as “Break away from the Chinese Communist Party” during the New Year’s Day March on Jan. 1, 2020. (Wen Hanlin / The Epoch Times)

Besides CCC-B, another Chinese association in Southampton was also accused of having ties with the CCP.

An April 18 report in The Times pointed out Ping Hua, the founder of the Chinese Association of Southampton (CAS), who wrote an article defending the CCP’s abuse of Uighurs in Xinjiang and slammed U.S. accusations of the Chinese regime committing atrocities as an attempt to incite a “provocative subversion in Hong Kong.”

Hua voiced similar opinions at a “Stop Anti-Asian Racism, Reject New Cold War” rally in London’s Chinatown on last Nov. 27. The rally sparked violence, leading to one person being taken to hospital and at least one person being arrested.

CAS received £20,130 ($25,166) of UK funding.

Also at the meeting with British MPs, Finn Lau, a Hong Kong political activist in his 90s, said he had been attacked in June 2020 on a street in London.

On June 2, 2020, Lau was walking near his home in London when he realized he was being followed. He said he stopped at a streetlight, and three people suddenly came out and hit him. The attack caused a bone fracture in his right eye and left him with a severe concussion. Lau suggested that the attack may be related to the CCP paying gang members to commit violence.

On Jan. 1, 2020, Lau participated in New Year’s Day March in Hong Kong and was apprehended together with many other protesters. He was discharged after a 50-hour detention and immediately bought a plane ticket back to the UK where he worked. After 7 months, in August 2020, the Hong Kong authority issued an arrest warrant for him.

Epoch Times Photo
In this photo illustration, the UK Immigration: ID Check app on a mobile phone is seen in Hong Kong, China, on Feb. 23, 2021. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Labour Party MP Sarah Owen, the organizer of the meeting, questioned the government in Parliament about how to protect Hongkongers in Britain from violence by CCP gang members.

James Cleverly, British Foreign Office minister, responded that the CCP persecution of these Hongkongers did not cease even when they arrived in the UK and that the authorities would take protecting Hongkongers into consideration seriously.

Labor Party MPs Stephen Kinnock said, despite the CCP’s expanding erosion of democracy and freedom, Hongkongers’ courageous perseverance inspired the world.

The UK stands by Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement and will be assuming its obligations to Hongkongers who have been let down due to CCP’s breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, he said.

The Labor Party member pledged that if his party wins the general election, the BNO plan will be renewed.

Up to 100,000 Hongkongers have moved to the UK under the BNO visa program. By staying in the UK for five years on such a visa, they can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and then apply for naturalization after a further year.

The BNO visa program was announced in November 2020 by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, providing an initial pathway for BNO holders from Hong Kong to immigrate to the UK.

Alexander Zhang contributed to this report.


Follow

Jessica Mao is a writer for The Epoch Times with a focus on China-related topics. She began writing for the Chinese-language edition in 2009.