China Seeks to Mobilize Entire Population for Foreign and Domestic Spying, Spy Chief Admits

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by Vijeta Uniyal at

Chinese regime must “create system that makes it “normal” for the masses to participate in counter-espionage,” Reuters reports citing state-security czar Chen Yixin. 

Beijing plans to mobilize the country’s entire population for its foreign and domestic spying operations, an article written by a senior Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official suggests.

The mass-mobilization of China’s 1.4 million citizens can be used against domestic threats or rival nations, particularly the U.S., China’s state-security czar Chen Yixin declared Tuesday. Chinese regime must “create [a] system that makes it ‘normal’ for the masses to participate in counter-espionage,” Reuters reported citing an article by Yixin, who is widely seen as Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s protégé.

The revealing admission was made in an article posted by the spy chief on his account on the Chinese social media platform WeChat. Yixin’s words carry substantial weight inside the Chinese communist power structure. He is one of the most powerful figures in the CCP. The 64-year-old communist apparatchik is expected to succeed Xi Jinping as the country’s next leader, media reports suggest.

Reuters reported the Chinese security czar’s remarks:

China should encourage its citizens to join counter-espionage work, including creating channels for individuals to report suspicious activity as well as commending and rewarding them, the state security ministry said on Tuesday.

A system that makes it “normal” for the masses to participate in counter-espionage must be established, wrote the Ministry of State Security, the main agency overlooking foreign intelligence and anti-spying, in its first post on its WeChat account, which went live on Monday.

The call to popularise anti-spying work among the masses follows an expansion of China’s counter-espionage law that took effect in July.

The law, which bans the transfer of information related to national security and interests which it does not specify, has alarmed the United States, saying foreign companies in China could be punished for regular business activities.

The revised law allows authorities carrying out an anti-espionage probe to gain access to data, electronic equipment, and information on personal property.

Political security is the top priority of national security, and the “core” of political security is the security of China’s political system, Minister of State Security Chen Yixin wrote in an article in a Chinese legal magazine in July.

“The most fundamental is to safeguard the leadership and ruling position of the Communist Party of China and the socialist system with Chinese characteristics,” Chen said.

It is worth noting that the term ‘state-security’ in communist-run systems is an euphemism for foreign and domestic spying. The Soviet KGB (Committee for State Security) and the East German Stasi (Ministry for State Security) were both so-called state-security agencies.

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