Chinese Spying Brought to a Slow Boil

July 7, 2010 Updated: September 29, 2015

On June 26, the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel published the article “Espionage.” This article tells a story about actions that are happening every day in Western countries but have been ignored for too long, actions that show a foreign power developing resources that slowly corrode the West’s independence.

The story is very much like the kind of thing that happened during the Cold War. This time, though, the intelligence agents are from China, which is for many a sought-after trade partner. The target is neither a government defense agency nor a corporation’s trade secrets, but those who practice the spiritual meditation discipline of Falun Gong.

Sun Dan [not his real name], a Chinese national, a scholar, and a German citizen, found himself in a difficult situation when his father in China became sick. Because he is a Falun Gong practitioner, his visa application became very complicated.

The visa officer at the Chinese Embassy in Berlin arranged for Sun to meet two men from China in March 2006 at a restaurant in downtown Berlin. German intelligence believes that the visa officer also works for the Chinese intelligence agency called the Ministry of State Security.

Beginning in 2008, Sun sent Falun Gong internal emails to an email account that he used to communicate with the Chinese officials, who also had access to the account.

Sun denied any wrongdoing, said what he sent was public information, and he didn’t know the officials from China were spies. They turned out to be high-ranking 610 Office officials, and one of them held the title of vice minister.

610 Office

The 610 Office is the command center for carrying out the Chinese Communist Party’s policy of persecuting Falun Gong, a policy initiated in July 1999 by then CCP head Jiang Zemin. The office is not listed on any official website and document of the CCP or the state. It operates like a secret agency.

The only goal of the 610 Office is to eradicate Falun Gong. Since Falun Gong now is practiced in more than 100 countries all over the world, the long arm of the 610 Office reaches far beyond the Chinese border.

The 610 Office’s activities outside China are not new to those who are familiar with the issue but are not well known by the public. In February 2008, the French writer Roger Faligot, who has written about 40 intelligence-related books, published “The Chinese Secret Services from Mao to the Olympic Games.”

In Chapter 10, he describes how Chinese intelligence forces deployed around the world for the Olympics. He specifically mentions that the secretive 610 Office was included in this special team. The 610 Office would have taken part because it had become the main organization tasked by the Chinese regime with monitoring Falun Gong in Western society.

Chen Yonglin was formerly a Chinese diplomat in the Chinese Consulate in Sydney, Australia. After defecting in 2005 for refusing to carry out orders to persecute Falun Gong, he claimed that there were more than 1,000 spies in Australia, with most of them used to monitor the activities of Falun Gong practitioners.

Many Chinese diplomats and spies don’t really appear on the 610 Office’s list of employees. But when it concerns the Falun Gong issue, they all work for the 610 Office. Chen Yonglin of Australia and the visa officer in China’s Berlin Embassy are similar cases—staff employed by the diplomatic corps but who do the 610 Office’s bidding.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.