While Americans in Hangzhou may be worried about red-carpeted stairways, British officials are concerned about something much more important — honey traps.
The team of officials accompanying new British Prime Minister Theresa May to the G20 summit have been warned to take steps to protect themselves from alluring Chinese spies offering sex during their stay in Hangzhou, the Telegraph reports.
Apparently, British security agents haven’t just been reading too many James Bond novels; this kind of thing has happened before and they are taking care that it won’t happen again by issuing officials with temporary mobile phones and email addresses (and not condoms, we presume).
The scandalous incident occurred during former prime minister Gordon Brown’s visit to China in 2008. According to Brown’s special advisor Damien McBride, the British officials were “accosted on one side by a beautiful posse of Chinese girls and on the other side by an equivalent group of Russian blondes.”
Before they knew what was going on, one of the officials was lured away to his hotel room, where he was drugged and robbed of his Blackberry and “half the contents of his briefcase.”
This time, the British officials have also been warned about newer age tools of espionage. A Whitehall source told the Telegraph that the hotel rooms in Hangzhou are likely to have been bugged. “We have been told that if you feel uncomfortable about people seeing you naked, you should get changed under your bedclothes,” the source said.
They have even been warned not to keep any gifts offered by Chinese hosts, particularly any electronic ones. In February, Australian politicians returned $250,000 worth of Rolex watches that they had been given 3 years before by a Chinese businessman. The politicians said that they thought the watches were fake, meanwhile another Australian politician declared that they may have been bugged.
Amid all this intrigue, May is expected to have her first one-on-one meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping today to discuss the Chinese-backed nuclear power plant project at Hinkley Point, which has been stalled by the new British government over security concerns. China has said that May’s decision to delay the project threatens the brief “golden age” of UK-China relations.