The day after U.K. police charged three men with assisting Hong Kong’s intelligence service, China’s ambassador to Britain was summoned for an official reprimand by the British foreign ministry in the latest sign of growing tension between London and Beijing.

The British government said that it had called the ambassador, Zheng Zeguang, to its Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office after the three men appeared in court on Monday.

The Foreign Office said in a statement that it had been “unequivocal in setting out that the recent pattern of behavior directed by China against the U.K.” was not acceptable. It cited cyberattacks, alleged espionage and the issuing of bounties for information leading to the prosecution of dissidents who fled Hong Kong after its crackdown on the pro-democracy movement and resettled in Britain.

The three men who appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday have been charged with gathering intelligence for Hong Kong, a former British colony which is a special administrative region of China, and of forcing entry into a U.K. residential address.

They were identified as Chi Leung (Peter) Wai, 38, of Staines-upon-Thames; Matthew Trickett, 37, of Maidenhead; and Chung Biu Yuen, 63, of Hackney, East London.

Mr. Yuen, a retired Hong Kong police officer, is the office manager for the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London, one of 14 Hong Kong government outposts outside China.

source

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