MI5 and GCHQ have warned universities and educational institutes operating across their region that the Chinese government could be conducting espionage on its research and computer systems through hidden spies among the 100,000 Chinese students who are studying on the campus. The agency suspects that the investment made by the Beijing in the research work of UK Universities was multi-purpose as it could be using students as espionage agents to transmit data related to research to the Xi Jinping government.
It has to be notified over here that Chinese students who are pursuing post-graduate courses have to pay a fee of £50k as yearly fees. And half of the fees are reimbursed to them as a scholarship by the Chinese government.
Britain’s Intelligence sources suspect that the students pay-back financial help by passing secrets related to the UK’s government projects to the Chinese government.
It is estimated that in the past 10 years, over 500 Chinese Military Scientists have purposed degrees from Britain’s top Universities in the fields related to supercomputers, jet aircraft, missiles and thin film which is used to disguise water tanks powered by solar energy.
As per an article in Times, the Center for the Protection of National Infrastructure has warned Universities in the UK to keep a tab of students pursuing studies from hostile nations as they could be used by adversaries to steal personal data, research data, intellectual property related to military, commercial and authoritarian interests.