Explained: How Chinese Communist Party conducts espionage operations

Teng Biao a Grove Human Rights Scholar from the City University of New York said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is a threat to Global Freedom and Democracy. CCP has various ways to deny free speech. One of the ways is visa denial to professors, journalists, artists, politicians etc. For example, the authors of the books ‘Xinjiang: China’s Muslim Borderland’ and ‘The Tiananmen Papers’ were denied visas to China. 

The second aspect is meddling in elections. CCP has meddled elections in many elections. Countries like Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia are the recent elections that the CCP has meddled with.CCP spreads massive amounts of disinformation. Taiwan government had to start a defamation campaign in social media to eliminate disinformation. CCP economically blackmails countries like Taiwan. Whenever there is an election in Taiwan, the Chinese government pressurizes Taiwan to favour the KMT party. Lastly, they use Military threat to countries in the region to meddle with the elections.

The third aspect is the influence of operations. The objective is to make the world safe for CCP. CCP uses institutions like United Front Work, Confucius Institutions (operated by the Ministry of Education), CSSA, Chamber of Commerce, Townsmen Association, Alumni Association, Xinhua News Agency. These organizations are totally controlled by the Chinese embassy or the CCP. China has eliminated all the independent Chinese Language media outlets that once served the communities in the US, through a mix of co-option and aggressive expansion of its own competitors. The Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSA) in western universities get money from the Chinese embassy and receive instructions. For example, UCSD asked Dalai Lama to give a speech on the campus and not mention politics. However, CSSA protested outside and after the speech, the Chinese government refused to send Chinese students and scholars to UCSD. The Confucius Institutes are supposed to focus on the Chinese language and culture but in actuality are part of the propaganda and brainwashing for the CCP. The textbooks are filled with CCP narrative, CCP selects teachers, the curriculum and through this CCP eliminates any discussion on the sensitive topics. 

Chinese secret agency kidnaps people in foreign soil. Li Zhisui author of ‘The Private Life of Chairman Mao: The memoirs of Mao’s private physician’ was kidnapped by CCP on foreign soil and was sent to mainland China to be detained and tortured. Wang Binzhang and Peng Ming were sentenced to life and died in custody 3 years ago. The kidnappings are not limited to Chinese passport holders but even UK or USA passport holders have been kidnapped and sent to mainland China. 

Addressing a webinar organized by USANAS Foundation on “Chinese Communist Party’s Influence and Espionage Operations”. 
Cleo Paskala an Associate Fellow at Chatham House said that If you are negotiating with the PLA in Ladakh and India is following the rules, do not expect China to do the same because they said that their approach is unrestricted warfare. Within this unrestricted warfare, there are three kinds of warfare. The first warfare is Public opinion and media warfare. If you are successfully countering the CCP narrative, CCP will try to discredit you and it will be blocked by the great firewall.  Hollywood tries to not counter the CCP narrative to avoid the blocking. You will never find a Chinese bad guy in Hollywood movies anymore. Anything that can shape public opinion. The second warfare is psychological warfare. For example, continuously running huge military exercises off the coast of Taiwan and to scare an entire country to submission. The third warfare is legal warfare. The US tried to ban WeChat but suddenly out of nowhere, WeChat users group started fighting in the courts that the ban is against their freedom of speech. CCP will use the legal framework of the USA effectively and whereas they completely ignore it if it does not work in their favour. 

The second way is intelligence. CCP gathers intelligence using two ways. Signal intelligence and human intelligence. Tiktok and WeChat is signal intelligence. I have an enormous amount of respect to what India did with blocking of Chinese applications when the Indian soldiers were murdered in the border. It shows that India understands the comprehensive power and Chinese attempt to increase the comprehensive power using Tiktok and WeChat. They try to use these applications to control public opinion. For example, in Tiktok, Trump ads or videos will not be shown to people and Joe Biden’s videos will be shown. If you have a company in China because of the great firewall you need to communicate using WeChat so that the CCP has access to all your information. Where you are procuring your resources, who you are selling it to, your intellectual property, and as USA Director of National Intelligence said that eventually, they could use it to steal or replicate your company and replace you in the market. Human intelligence component. Chinese female spy has had affairs with a couple of midwestern mayors that are close friends with a democratic representative who is in the intelligence community and who was the biggest proponent of Russia. It was a long-term approach that finds the soft spots of the system and embeds to it. She enrolled in a US university and volunteered for the democratic campaigns and later became a fundraiser. CCP has the money, the focus and the people and a very specific goal which is to advance national comprehensive power by truly embedding themselves in every system and aspect of human life and this is a very real threat to us all.

 Aadil Brar a Freelance Journalist at the National  Geographic Young Explorer spoke about the state media and their role in the Chinese system. There is no corresponding word for ‘propaganda’ in Chinese. The closest word that we can find ‘publicity’. State media outlets use journalism in the process of disseminating information. There is a specific hierarchy in state media outlets. CCP always controls these media outlets. President Xi Jing has internationalized state media outlets to change the view of the world view of China. China has more than 200,000 journalists and more than half of them work for the official broadcasters. These journalists play an important role in intelligence collection and elections. Most of their reports will not end up broadcasted and will be used for intelligence collection. Experts say that these reports and analysis are written in such a way that party officials can read it and there is a difference between what has been collected and what has been released. In 2015, according to some estimates, CCP had an annual budget of 400m dollars for propaganda. We do not know the exact budget spent on propaganda but based on open source analysis and through what we know, we can say that the budget has increased significantly since 2015. 

Dipanjay Roy Chaudhury, the diplomatic editor at the Economic Times Foreign and Strategic Affairs said that Chinese are copying various countries methods to conduct espionage activities. They try to penetrate Chinese diaspora in various countries and to control the dynamics of the regions. They tried to control the journalists in the regional countries by offering those journalists luxurious journeys or to offspring of the journalists. Although none of the espionage strategies is original to China and are copied from various countries, they have managed to master it. 

CCP has tried their espionage tactics in India. The Confucius institutes to further CCP narrative was not successful in India. CCP also tried to penetrate into Indian thinktanks however they have failed. The corporate or diplomatic attempts to penetrate to India has also failed. Even though the Kolkata was ruled by a Marxist party for years, the penetration was very minimal and almost not there. 

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window.scroll_it_wobble = function() { var max, third; max = $(document).height() - $(window).height(); third = Math.floor(max / 3); return reset_scroll().animate({ scrollTop: third * 2 }, max * 3).delay(100).animate({ scrollTop: third }, max * 3).delay(100).animate({ scrollTop: max }, max * 3).delay(100).animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, max * 3); };

$(window).on("resize", (function(_this) { return function(e) { return $(document.body).trigger("sticky_kit:recalc"); }; })(this));

}).call(this);

} on_load_google_ad(); function sendAdserverRequest() { try { if (pbjs && pbjs.adserverRequestSent) return; googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.pubads().refresh(); }); } catch (e) {

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.pubads().refresh(); }); } } setTimeout(function() { sendAdserverRequest(); }, 5000);

function on_load_fb_twitter_widgets(){ (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.9"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

window.twttr = (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0], t = window.twttr || {}; if (d.getElementById(id)) return t; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); t._e = []; t.ready = function(f) {

t._e.push(f); }; return t; }(document, "script", "twitter-wjs")); }

//setTimeout(function() { on_load_google_ad(); }, 5000); setTimeout(function() { on_load_fb_twitter_widgets(); }, 5000);

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