Being isolated in the international community and faced with a crisis of legitimacy, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) openly announced last month its intention to keep up its strict control of mainland China, encroachment on Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, and infiltration of other countries, through its United Front Work Department (UFWD).
On Jan. 5, state-run media Xinhua reported on the revised “Regulations on the United Front Work of the Communist Party of China,” referred to as the “Regulations” from here on out. The previous version from May 2015 was revised during the Politburo Standing Committee (top-decision making body) meeting on Nov. 30, 2020, and officially implemented on Dec. 21.
The article published the full text of the Regulations. Not only will the CCP continue to strictly control mainland China, but will also keep up its encroachment on Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, and will continue to infiltrate other countries. Once again, the CCP’s sinister intentions to control the world have been revealed.
The Regulations also expose the true nature of overseas Chinese associations, the non-CCP groups that are targets of the United Front, and the dark secrets of the CCP’s various UFWD.
Who Are the Targets?
Article 5 of the Regulations describes the scope of the UFWD, marking a total of 12 targeted groups: members of democratic parties; people without party affiliation; non-CCP intellectuals; ethnic minorities; people in religious circles; representative figures among private business owners; social elites from non-CCP organizations; those studying overseas and those returning from studying overseas; Hong Kong and Macau compatriots; Taiwan compatriots and their relatives in China; overseas Chinese, returned overseas Chinese and their relatives; others.
The targets of the United Front are all people outside the Communist Party, and the main focus is on the representatives of groups.
The Regulations describe the United Front as the CCP’s “political advantage and strategic policy for gathering forces” and “an important magic weapon to consolidate the Party’s ruling position.”
The real goal of the United Front, under the pretense of “patriotism, unification, communication, and making friends,” is to maintain the false facade of the CCP’s legitimacy. The fear of losing power has only intensified the scope of the UFWD. According to the CCP’s targets, nearly everyone poses a threat to its dictatorship.
Faced with an unprecedented crisis of legitimacy, the CCP has to increase its United Front efforts to survive. Being isolated in the international community, it must strengthen its UFWD overseas out of necessity.
The CCP’s Overseas Work
The Regulations are composed just like the United Front itself—they are packaged with deceptions.
The main objectives of the overseas UFWD, according to Article 37 of the Regulations, is to “strengthen ideological and political guidance;” to help overseas Chinese nationals and students studying abroad to “better understand and recognize the Chinese Communist Party and socialism with Chinese characteristics;” to encourage overseas Chinese to “participate in a national rejuvenation;” to “contain Taiwan independence and other separatist forces;” to “maintain the core national interests;” and to “create a good international environment.”
The goals of these objectives are to continue brainwashing overseas Chinese; to recruit certain individuals to steal technology and act as spies; to infiltrate, disintegrate, and crack down on overseas individuals or organizations that may be unfavorable to the CCP; and to cause divisions in the Chinese community.
Instead of openly calling for infiltration of overseas political and business circles, the Regulations deceptively refer to it as “creating a good international environment.”
Article 38 of the Regulations also describes the main tasks of overseas Chinese affairs. The organizations that coordinate overseas Chinese affairs are actually the various Chinese associations under the control of the embassy and consulates, especially the leaders of the associations.
Using the theme of the “China Dream,” these leaders are tasked with guiding overseas Chinese and returned overseas Chinese and their relatives to commit to “the modernization of the motherland,” maintaining and promoting “China’s reunification,” help facilitate “friendly cooperation and exchanges,” and promote the “building of a community with a shared future for mankind.”
This is the mission of the CCP’s UFWD and the overseas Chinese organizations controlled by the regime. A bold mission, indeed. These groups serve the CCP and act as CCP spies and informants. They undoubtedly cause great harm in the overseas Chinese communities and pose a serious threat to the security of all countries.
Article 6 of the Regulations states that, in order to “ensure the overall control and coordination of all parties in the United Front Work and the progress in the correct political direction under the guidance of the Party … the United Front department is taking the lead in coordinating, and the relevant parties are carrying out their responsibilities.”
For the CCP to achieve the goal of unified leadership in overseas Chinese associations, it’s naturally relying on its embassies and consulates, which are the chief hubs of CCP spies. This is also the main reason why the United States closed the Chinese consulate in Houston last year. In addition, the Regulations disclose the facts that the CCP’s underground Party organizations are embedded in the larger overseas Chinese associations, which are actually espionage organizations that should be the focus of counter-espionage agencies in the various countries.
How Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan Are Infiltrated
The CCP’s infiltration in Hong Kong and Macau has a long history. Article 34 of the Regulations describes the main tasks of the United Front in Hong Kong and Macau as “supporting the chief executive and government of the special administrative region;” “supporting the integration of Hong Kong and Macau into the overall national development;” and “developing and growing the patriotic force for the nation and Hong Kong, and the patriotic force for the country and Macau.”
This shows that the CCP has infiltrated a large number of special personnel in Hong Kong and Macau who can pretend to be part of the public and serve the chief executive appointed by the CCP. Of course, it includes the promotion of the “Hong Kong version of the National Security Law,” as well as the extradition bill, Hong Kong Basic Law Article 23, etc. These people have also occupied Hong Kong’s Legislative Council seats, held various positions at government organizations, and business circles.
The Regulations clearly show that the CCP has never intended to implement the “one country, two systems” framework. The United Front Work clarifies that Hong Kong and Macau are “integrated” into mainland China and will eventually be transformed into a municipality. A large number of special underground or public organizations infiltrated by the CCP have also been continuously developing local personnel from Hong Kong and Macau to serve the CCP. Among them, it should have included members of the Hong Kong crime syndicates, who have repeatedly participated in attacks on pro-democracy protesters.
With regard to Taiwan, Article 36 of the Regulations states that the United Front in Taiwan must “support democratic parties and people without party affiliation, guide relevant NGOs and social organizations, and play a role in the United Front work of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.”
This shows that in addition to a large number of Taiwanese businessmen, the CCP has infiltrated certain parties in Taiwan and can manipulate certain organizations to directly serve them. The people and the elected government of Taiwan not only need to be more vigilant, but also need to take action as soon as possible. CCP agents are actually acting publicly in Taiwan.
United Front Work Inside China
On Sept. 15, 2020, the CCP issued an assessment report on the United Front work in China’s private enterprises, saying “the scale of the private economy has continued to expand, and risks and challenges have increased significantly.”
The CCP openly regards private enterprises as “risks and challenges” and is always on guard. The report stated that “strengthening the United Front work in the private economy is an important way to realize the Party’s leadership over the private economy.” And while it urged to “consolidate and develop the public economy,” it also said: “Educate and guide private economic figures … to maintain a high degree of consistency with the Party Central Committee in terms of political stance, political direction, political principles, and political roads, and always be politically sensible.”
Those who are not “politically sensible” will naturally become the target of “struggle.” Alibaba founder Jack Ma and other business tycoons thought that they had climbed up to the ranks of CCP dignitaries, but in the end, they still became the victims of “struggle”—the accused or the scapegoat. The ultimate fate of private enterprises is to be confiscated or become a dependent of the CCP.
The Regulations also added new targets for the United Front, as outlined in Article 31: “The new social class mainly includes: management and technical personnel of private enterprises and foreign-invested enterprises, employees of intermediary organizations and social organizations, freelancers, and new media practitioners.”
The CCP is afraid to lose control of the people in private enterprises who are all included in the scope of the United Front. These people are considered “risks” and need to be monitored at all times.
Of course, the CCP is also very concerned about religions. The Regulations state that it “respects and protects citizens’ freedom to believe and not believe.”
Since its establishment, the CCP has been preaching atheism, and it has actually prevented Chinese people from exercising their rights of religious freedom. The Regulations state that “communist members should unite with the masses of religious believers but must not have a religious belief.” The CCP’s “freedom to not believe” has actually taken away the “freedom to believe.”
The Regulations also demand “separation of religion and politics.” But the atheist CCP actually insists on leading the religious communities, and in reality, the Chinese people are only permitted to follow the CCP’s communist cult teachings as the CCP is a cult and a political party all wrapped in one. Those who don’t comply will be cruelly oppressed and persecuted. Most of the Buddhist, Taoist, and Christian temples and churches in China are controlled by CCP cadres. The persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, Xinjiang Uyghurs, and Tibetans has lasted for a long time because the CCP has failed to gain control of these groups.
The Regulations also define measures taken against minority ethnic groups, such as forbidding them to speak their own language, as “full promotion of the country’s commonly spoken and written language,” and to increase the recognition of the CCP and “socialism with Chinese characteristics” among the people of all ethnic groups.
From this it can be seen that the forced promotion of Mandarin in primary and secondary schools in Inner Mongolia was not initiated by local cadres, but an implementation of the CCP’s policy. To obliterate the uniqueness of ethnic groups, the CCP will strengthen its totalitarian rule in those regions. Those who are deemed to endanger the CCP’s rule will be accused of “infiltration, subversion, sabotage, violent terrorism, ethnic separatism, and religious extremism,” as described in the Regulations, and they will become the targets of the CCP’s brutal crackdowns.
The United Front Work Department cannot conceal its true purpose: maintaining the CCP’s totalitarian rule both at home and abroad.
Zhong Yuan is a researcher focused on China’s political system, the country’s democratization process, human rights, and Chinese citizens’ livelihood. He began writing commentaries for the Chinese-language Epoch Times in 2020.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.