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Wiretapping Rampant in China’s Communist Officialdom

By Hsin-Yi Lin
Epoch Times Staff
Created: December 8, 2012 Last Updated: December 10, 2012
Related articles: China » Regime
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Delegates attend the opening session of the 18th Communist Party Congress held at the Great Hall of the People on Nov. 8, in Beijing, China. Many Party officials have found themselves wiretapped recently, as paranoia in the ranks increases amidst an anti-corruption campaign led from the top. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

Delegates attend the opening session of the 18th Communist Party Congress held at the Great Hall of the People on Nov. 8, in Beijing, China. Many Party officials have found themselves wiretapped recently, as paranoia in the ranks increases amidst an anti-corruption campaign led from the top. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

Large numbers of Chinese Communist Party officials are being wiretapped, causing them constant worry that their illicit activities may be exposed, an industry expert says.

Qi Hong specializes in electronic surveillance devices. He used to be hired by local Party officials to find and dismantle bugs in their offices and homes. In his first cleanup case, Qi found two tapping devices and a hidden camera in an air conditioning unit of an official’s office. 

The official “fell to his knees and stayed on the floor, speechless, for a long time,” Qi told Nanfang Peoples’ Weekly (cqwb.com.cn) in a recent interview.

Afterwards, word spread about Qi’s skills, and he was hired for plenty of jobs. According to the article, last year, Qi removed more than 300 bugs from over 100 officials’ cars, offices, and bedrooms. During one of his busiest weeks, he dismantled as many as 40 devices. Most of the bugs were installed by the officials’ wives, lovers, coworkers, and competitors, the report said. 

Qi said these officials live in constant fear that their unethical and illegal activities will be discovered. Many suffer from anxiety and paranoia, always worrying that they are being plotted against. They are also prone to suspicion; even if no bugs are found, they then believe that the instruments used to detect them are inadequate. 

An official in Shanxi province warned his friends and peers in Shandong province that, to avoid being tapped, now they should hug each other whenever they met, so they can feel whether the other is wearing a device. Any sensitive conversations are held in a sauna or a public bath where there is less chance of being tapped.

Qi said he got tired of this job and chose to quit, adding that it made him feel repulsed and that Chinese society under communist rule is hopeless.

Bo Xilai, the ousted Politburo member and former Party head of Chongqing, along with Wang Lijun, his former police chief, built a vast electronic surveillance system in Chongqing, tapping the communications of a variety of high-level Party officials, even including at one stage Party leader Hu Jintao’s. 

Read the original Chinese article.

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