Former prime minister handed diplomatic cables and other documents ahead of meetings in Beijing

Tony Blair has been obtaining sensitive government documents to help him on private business trips to China, The Telegraph can disclose.

The former prime minister has been provided with briefings, including diplomatic cables, by Foreign Office officials for regular visits to Beijing and Shanghai.

The documents include sensitive information from the British Embassy in Beijing which had to be handed over in London to avoid possible interception by China’s security services.

Last month the Telegraph disclosed how Mr Blair has made China a key plank of his business empire, acting as a broker between the country and Abu Dhabi.

Last night Andrew Bridgen, a Conservative MP who has called for Mr Blair to be more transparent about his business activities, said: “It is surprising that given Mr Blair’s commercial interests he is receiving these confidential Foreign Office briefings before his business trips,” he said.

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