MI5 is worried about sex. In a 14-page document distributed last year to hundreds of British banks, businesses, and financial institutions, titled “The Threat from Chinese Espionage,” the famed British security service described a wide-ranging Chinese effort to blackmail Western businesspeople over sexual relationships. The document, as the LondonTimes reported in January, explicitly warns that Chinese intelligence services are trying to cultivate “long-term relationships” and have been known to “exploit vulnerabilities such as sexual relationships … to pressurise individuals to co-operate with them.”

This latest report on Chinese corporate espionage tactics is only the most recent installment in a long and sordid history of spies and sex. For millennia, spymasters of all sorts have trained their spies to use the amorous arts to obtain secret information.

The trade name for this type of spying is the “honey trap.” Read the rest of the article on Foreign Policy.

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