Saturday, June 2, 2012

Communist Spies

A Chinese official working in the office of the Vice-Minister of China's Security Ministry has been arrested. 
He is suspected to have spied for the United States. As often in these circumstances, both countries have kept silent.
Another piece of news in Hong Kong's Oriental Daily  on May 28 must immensely worry the Chinese counterintelligence services.
The Chinese daily says that "Ninety Percent of CCP Central Committee Members Have Family Members Overseas".
It quotes from a survey recently conducted by the Central Committee of the Communist Party (and reported by The Dongxiang, another Hong Kong publication), which found that, as of the end of March 2012, 187 (91 percent) of the 204 members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party had family members living or working overseas or maintaining citizenship in other countries. 
The survey included the members' sons and daughters, grandchildren, and siblings. For the 167 alternate Committee members, 142 (85 percent) had relatives who had emigrated overseas. 113 (88 percent) of 127 members of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China had relatives who had emigrated overseas.
Is it not frightening for the Communist orthodoxy that most of the family members of China's bosses have one objective
only, to run abroad (mainly to the US) and often settle there?
The Communist Party has a problem, isn't it?
And they know it.
On May 24, 2012,
The People’s Daily reported that "China Develops Strategies to Prevent Government Officials from Fleeing Overseas". 
The official mouthpiece of the Party, asserted: "On May 23, 2012, the Chinese Disciplinary Committee held its 3rd joint meeting discussing how to prevent government officials who are in violation of law and discipline from fleeing overseas." It is not said what is the percentage of family members of the Disciplinary Committee living abroad.
The Chinese newspaper continued: "A participant observed that the current situation is rather complicated and the task is huge. The committee issued a directive that government officials be strictly prevented from fleeing overseas. It mandated specific actions including: enhancing the control and administration of certificates and documents for overseas travel; promptly learning the real time situation of both the private overseas travel by government officials and the emigration of their spouses and children; listing officials, along with their spouses and children who have already emigrated overseas, as major targets; striving to establish a very tight and efficient network to prevent them from fleeing."
All this makes it a great fishing ground for the CIA to recruit new agents, close to the Communist power.
But each coin has two sides. It will become more and more difficult for the Western intelligence agencies to control all the new migrants who will slowly insert themselves in the local society and could continue to 'serve' China's interests. 
This is globalization!

China arrests security official on suspicion of U.S. spying
June 1, 2012

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A Chinese state security official has been arrested on suspicion of spying for the United States, sources said, a case both countries have kept quiet for several months as they strive to prevent a fresh crisis in relations.
The official, an aide to a vice minister in China's security ministry, was arrested and detained early this year on allegations that he had passed information to the United States for several years on China's overseas espionage activities, said three sources, who all have direct knowledge of the matter.
The aide had been recruited by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and provided "political, economic and strategic intelligence", one source said, though it was unclear what level of information he had access to, or whether overseas Chinese spies were compromised by the intelligence he handed over.
The case could represent China's worst known breach of state intelligence in two decades and its revelation follows two other major public embarrassments for Chinese security, both involving U.S. diplomatic missions at a tense time for bilateral ties.
The aide, detained sometime between January and March, worked in the office of a vice-minister in China's Ministry of State Security, the source said. The ministry is in charge of the nation's domestic and overseas intelligence operations.
He had been paid hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars and spoke English, the source added.
"The destruction has been massive," another source said.
The sources all spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of punishment if identified.
China's foreign ministry did not respond immediately to a faxed request for comment sent on Friday.
The sources did not reveal the name of the suspected spy or the vice minister he worked for. The vice minister has been suspended and is being questioned, one of the sources said.
The Ministry of State Security rarely makes public the names of its officials and does not have a public web site.
The incident ranks as the most serious Sino-U.S. spying incident to be made public since 1985 when Yu Qiangsheng, an intelligence official, defected to the United States. Yu told the Americans that a retired CIA analyst had been spying for China. The analyst killed himself in 1986 in a U.S. prison cell, days before he was due to be sentenced to a lengthy jail term.


The vice minister's aide was arrested at around the same time that China's worst political scandal in a generation was unfolding, though the sources s a id the two cases were unrelated.
The political scandal erupted in February when the police chief of Chongqing municipality, in southwest China, took shelter for 24 hours in a U.S. consulate. Chongqing's ambitious Communist Party boss, Bo Xilai, was later suspended after it emerged the police chief had been investigating Bo's wife for murder.
o's wife is now being detained on suspicions that she poisoned a British businessman, Neil Heywood, in a dispute over money.
Washington kept an official silence on that incident, but in late April relations came under even more pressure when blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng escaped from house detention and sought refuge in the U.S. embassy in Beijing.
Chen spent six days in the embassy, sparking a diplomatic crisis that was only resolved when Beijing allowed him to leave the country last month to take up an academic fellowship in New York.
The exposure of the espionage case could put more pressure on the powerful Zhou Yongkang, who formally oversees the state security apparatus as a member of China's top decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee.
The Bo and Chen cases have already raised questions over the effectiveness of the security establishment which, under Zhou, has become more costly to maintain than the nation's military.
(Reporting by Reuters China; Editing by Don Durfee and Mark Bendeich)

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