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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

China targeting ‘Five Poisons’ that give its rulers sleepless nights

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(TibetanReview.net, Aug04’23) – China has built an expansive intelligence apparatus, with tens of thousands of officers, focused on combating the “Five Poisons” that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sees as its top threats both from within the country and internationally, reported businessinsider.in and others Aug 4, citing an assessment by British intelligence.

For the Chinese Communist Party, achieving dominance abroad requires control at home, so China’s massive spy services are designed to quash threats to the CCP’s hold on power wherever they arise, the British intelligence assessment was cited a saying.

These “Five Poisons” are Taiwanese independence, Tibetan independence, Xinjiang separatists, the Falun Gong, and the Chinese democracy movement.

China “almost certainly” has the largest intelligence apparatus in the world, with tens of thousands of officers, most of whom work for three civilian and military agencies, the British intelligence services were stated to have written in a recent report to parliament, detailing the operations and goals of the Chinese intelligence services.

Firstly, there is the all-powerful Ministry of State Security, a civilian organization with executive powers that gathers intelligence using human sources and tries to catch foreign spies and intelligence officers through counterintelligence operations.

Then there is the less influential Ministry of Public Security, also a civilian agency with law-enforcement duties that mainly conducts counterintelligence.

Finally, there is the Chinese military’s Strategic Support Force, which is responsible for signals intelligence. It conducts electronic collection and gathers intelligence from computer networks and internet activity.

All these services have been tasked with rooting out the “Five Poisons”, which the CCP considers its principal national-security threats, and with expanding China’s “global reach and influence,” the British intelligence was cited as saying.

While China’s leaders see Taiwanese independence as the top threat, the CPP perceives Tibetan independence as a major national-security threat. Besides, China also views the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, as a separatist threat, according to the cited British intelligence assessment.

The plight of the Uighur Muslim minority is now pretty well known in the West. Falun Gong, a religious group established in the early 1990s had millions of adherents by the time the Chinese government banned it 1999, viewing the group as a challenge to its power. China continues to jail or send practitioners to “re-education” centres, but millions of Chinese still practice Falun Gong, most of them abroad.

Besides, the Chinese intelligence services are also collecting information on the Chinese democracy movement at home and abroad in an attempt to subvert it.

“Expenditure on the internal security apparatus has outpaced even China’s recent dramatic military modernisation,” the report was cited as saying, citing estimates that China now spends almost 20% more on domestic security than on external defence.

While China’s intelligence services are focused on countering domestic threats, they are also looking outward for advantages that will advance Beijing’s bid for superpower status. The news report cited officials from the US and the UK as saying espionage is a central component of Chinese efforts to become dominant in an array of advanced technology sectors and to find shortcuts in developing sophisticated military hardware. It cited the acting director of the US National Counterintelligence and Security Center as saying in 2021 that Chinese espionage was responsible for $200 billion to $600 billion a year in intellectual-property theft.


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