The Chinese regime has already developed a pervasive espionage network in the United States, said Li Fengzhi, a former Intelligence Officer of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Ministry of State Security. Li publicly announced his withdrawal from the CCP in March and was recently interviewed by The Epoch Times.
'The CCP has spared no manpower and resources,” he said. “It has operated through its consulates, national security organs and other organizations, to send many agents [to U.S.] and develop informers on the American soil.”
Influencing politicians in the West is an important part of the regime’s overseas activities—the main purpose being that these politicians back Beijing's policies at critical times. Another purpose is to sway politicians to remain silent about the regime's human rights violations.
Chinese Politicians Highly Targeted
He said this was particularly so with Chinese politicians in the West, and warned that these politicians need to be careful to draw a clear line between the CCP and China.
“They must hold on to their conscience and obey the laws in their countries. At the same time they should do things that are truly beneficial to the Chinese people.”
He said the CCP often offers a lot of money and publicity to certain politicians and, at the same time, get emotionally involved with them.
“The politicians who get high publicity on the CCP’s official media are often those who are close to the CCP privately or are who the CCP nurtures. The CCP doesn’t promote or defame someone for no reason. This is an easy way to tell who the CCP’s friends are.”
The same is true by seeing who the CCP awards or honors, or campaigns for, Li said.
“This person is probably very close to the CCP.”
Li outlined a common tactic the CCP employs: “A CCP agent or official will invite a politician in the West to dinners or gatherings. They get to know each other—which will make it easier for the CCP agent to ask them favors. Occasionally, a high-ranking official from the CCP will cooperate in such intelligence; an invitation from China’s high ranking official would make certain the average Western politician feels honored and overwhelmed. The CCP agent will take over from there.”
Another method, said Li, is to target those close to the politician—from family, neighbors, staff, and even press photographers.
“Through these people, the agents can still get certain information or exert certain influence.”
However, when the lure is not enough, the CCP will involve coercion, Li said.
A typical way to frame a politician from Western countries includes thorough background research to plan for traps, Li said. Then, the politician is invited to China, in the name of a meeting, official visit, or just a simple tour. When the politician arrives in China, the agent will seduce the politician with money or political interest.
“Sometimes the seduction involves the politician’s personal life,” Li said.
After the target falls into the trap, the CCP agent uses the evidence to force the politician to submit to the will of the CCP. Many times, when the politician does not fall for the luring, Li said the agents would frame the politician for something he did not do—with evidence fabricated using modern technology.
“This works very well on Westerners,” Li said. “In Western societies, the politicians’ futures largely depend on their reputations. The Western politicians are often terrified once they get set up, fearing their careers will be over if the CCP publicizes the ‘evidence.’”
Besides politicians, the regime also targets government officials, influential companies, social groups, media, and other non-political people or organizations that could influence their country's politics in certain issues.
“It monitors them tightly, through public and private contact, it tries to analyze their needs and weakness,” said Li.
The CCP also finds Western organizations and pro-CCP media to be its mouthpieces. These domestic organizations and media will have a more direct influence on their politicians as the members of such organizations are often local citizens.
The CCP uses members of overseas Chinese communities, and Chinese student and scholar associations to work for the regime—in the name of serving the Chinese nation.
Li also said that there is a written principle in the Ministry of State Security that says agents are allowed to appear to be anti-CCP as long as their goals are to protect the CCP’s greater interests.
“Some may criticize the CCP,” he said. “But when it comes to crucial moments, they became pro-CCP and their opinions can help the CCP greatly.”
According to Li, on the surface, the regime emphasizes the importance of “protecting the friendship between China and U.S,” but in reality, it views the U.S.-led Western democratic countries as its enemy, and particularly views U.S. as its prominent enemy.
“Paying attention to China is a good thing but that does not mean to court and yield to the CCP,” he said.
Read the original article in Chinese