The British fleet had a long-standing tradition of hiring Chinese personnel, primarily launderers, from Hong Kong, responsible for cleaning and pressing the uniforms of sailors and officers since the 1930s.
The UK's Royal Navy has decided to cease employing Chinese personnel on board military vessels due to espionage concerns, as reported by Sarbaz.kz citing The Sun.
The Royal Navy chose to replace these Chinese workers with Nepalese Gurkhas in response to fears that Beijing might attempt to use Chinese workers to gain access to confidential information within the Royal Navy.
The decision to end the tradition came to light when three Chinese citizens were denied access to the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest vessel of the Royal Navy, while the fleet was deployed in the disputed South China Sea. A fourth Chinese laundry worker, who had been with the Navy for 39 years, was released from his duties this month due to his family residing in Hong Kong.