The head of MI6 makes an unprecedented response to China’s state news agency after it released a James Bond spoof mocking western intelligence.
Chief spy Richard Moore thanked the Chinese for “free publicity” for the ‘No Time To Die Laughing’ video, depicting James Pond, and his assistant Black Window.
In response to the leaked footage, Moore tweeted: “Thank you for your interest (and the unexpected free publicity!)”
The chief also posted a link to a speech he gave in November in which he said China sought to “exploit the open nature” of British society and “distort public discourse and political decision making across the globe”.
The video of 0.07 pokes fun at China being the spy’s “top priority”, and in a CIA operative, the fictional Pond discovers that the US has tapped his mobile phone.
He is warned not to buy a model made by sanctioned Huawei due to a supposed “backdoor”, before being given a new phone by the CIA.
The video jokes about the “fictional Chinese debt trap and data trap” as a “pathetic” excuse to get more funding for British intelligence.
Agent Black Window is also shown to say: “Always a good time to spy on China, eh?”. To which, an CIA operative replied: “Anytime is a good time!”
The spoof makes countless digs on the back of the outrage in China last year when the UK blocked the telecoms company Huawei from involvement in its 5G broadband rollout.
The decision was rooted in US concerns about Chinese spying concerns. The company faces ongoing scrutiny from the National Cyber Security Centre over its security practices, and whether it has links with the Chinese government, which it denies.
Whilst MI6 rarely make public statements, Moore is the first member of the British secret service to openly use Twitter.
In October 2020, he tweeted on his first first day as chief of MI6, using humorous hashtags and emojis.