On Monday (April 26), the Chinese Communist Party’s Ministry of State Security announced the “Regulations on Counterintelligence Security”, which mobilizes “the whole society” to actively participate in “counterintelligence operations” and encourages the public to report and expose. Experts have analyzed this move as an attempt to turn Chinese people into “spies” for the CCP and help it monitor entities and institutions at home and abroad.
Strict Control of Society as a Whole in the Name of “Counterintelligence
Under the new rule, “general units” such as social organizations, institutions, enterprises and other social organizations in mainland China, which include almost all of society’s most important units, will have greater responsibility for “combating foreign espionage. units.
The regulations state that the Ministry of State Security will also “guide” organizations that are deemed to have “counterintelligence responsibilities. According to official CCP media reports, once these agencies or organizations or social groups are designated as having counterintelligence responsibilities, the State Security Department will “guide, supervise and inspect” their work. This includes political vetting of their personnel, rigorous training, supervision and debriefing of their overseas staff travel, and the organization must report any suspicious incidents to state security authorities.
CNN reports that this means a variety of mainland Chinese institutions, including universities and private businesses, could be required to report to state security just like sensitive government agencies.
Require universal surveillance of foreign entities
Commentators have analyzed this Counterintelligence Security Precautionary Work Regulation as being less about guarding against foreign spies and more about guarding against their own citizens, while enticing the Chinese to assist the Communist Party in monitoring businesses and institutions at home and abroad.
CNN reports that Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst on China at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said Beijing “wants to put [Chinese] business companies, universities, media and think tanks more under government control to monitor and report on the activities of Western entities. This would make it more difficult for Western companies to do business in China.”
He also said that the new DSS regulations would be “enforced overseas to what extent”? It remains to be seen whether those Chinese companies, entities and individuals overseas will also have to comply with the rules.
Encouraging People to Report Each Other to Prevent “Defections”
CNN reported that official Chinese media released an image earlier this month warning people to beware of “foreign spies,” adding that some spies are specifically targeting students and faculty at universities to steal information or “incite defections. The official media also warned that spying could target civil servants, university students, or “young and active Internet users,” and that spies could be “online friends with similar interests,” or “close lovers Spies may “incite defections” by means of “online friends with similar interests,” or “close lovers,” or through money.
Reuters reported that Chinese official media said that in order to protect so-called “defense, diplomatic, economic, financial and high-tech” industries, companies believe that unnecessary travel abroad should be minimized, and that if they do go abroad, they should draw up detailed travel plan reports indicating, among other things, meetings with foreigners, and that those who go abroad must bring A “burner phone or computer” (i.e., a disposable phone with a prepaid phone bill that is usually thrown away after use and will not be tracked through the sim card).
In addition, the new rules encourage people to report foreign spies and “espionage” by their own people, and encourage the Chinese public to monitor each other. The regulations say that citizens and organizations can report espionage and other acts that endanger national security, as well as all kinds of anti-spy security clues through the special telephone number set up by the state security organs to receive reports, online reporting platform or other reporting methods.
The CCP’s espionage crime is a “pocket crime”
The scope of the crime of espionage is so broad that it is called a “pocket crime,” a huge pocket in the name of national security, more areas, more people, may be put into this pocket, some dissidents, civil society organizations may be hit, the Chinese Communist Party even put the Hong Kong issue and so on to The Chinese Communist Party has even put the blame on “foreign hostile forces”.
CNN cites the case of a journalism student who broke the espionage law while working for a “mainstream Western media outlet” simply because he had “contact with more than 20 hostile foreign groups and officials from more than 12 Western countries. The student was guilty of providing “information that may have stigmatized China (the CCP)” while working in “mainstream Western media.
For example, the Chinese Communist Party has indicted former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor on so-called “espionage” charges. It is widely believed that the Chinese Communist Party is engaging in “hostage diplomacy” to pressure Canada to release Meng Wanzhou.