AN INTELLIGENCE-SHARING alliance of five nations has been exchanging classified information on China’s foreign activities with other like-minded countries since the start of the year.
A total of seven officials in four capitals revealed the extent of the heightened cooperation. The sharing of information took place within the Five Eyes alliance. It appears to highlight a growing front against Chinese operations and investments.
The Five Eyes, often abbreviated as FVEY, is an anglophone intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
These countries are parties to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.
“Like-minded” countries such as Japan and Germany also are also cooperating with the espionage group, according to reports.
A US official said: “Consultations with our allies, with like-minded partners, on how to respond to China’s assertive international strategy have been frequent and are gathering momentum.
“What might have started as ad hoc discussions are now leading to more detailed consultations on best practices and further opportunities for cooperation.”
While China has been the main focus, discussions have also touched on Russia, several officials said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks.
They explained the enhanced cooperation amounted to an informal expansion of the Five Eyes group on the specific issue of foreign interference.