China has created a network of spies to silence dissidents globally: Report

According to the report, China is conducting a comprehensive campaign to crack down on critics. (Figurative)


Multiple reports suggest that Beijing has created a global network of spies working to silence critics and dissidents in different parts of the world.

The US-based nonprofit, in its recent report, documented 735 incidents of “transnational repression” between 2014 and 2021.

According to Freedom House, China is carrying out the most sophisticated, global and comprehensive transnational repression campaign in the world. The efforts of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to pressure and control the population of overseas Chinese and members of minority communities are marked by three distinctive features.

“First, the campaign targets many groups, including multiple ethnic and religious minorities, political dissidents, human rights activists, journalists, and former insiders accused of corruption. Second, it runs the gamut of tactics: from direct attacks like renditions to co-opting other countries to detain and hand over exiles, mobility controls, remote threats such as digital threats, spyware, and proxy coercion,” the report says.

Ultimately, the breadth and global scale of the campaign was unparalleled. the Washington DC-based group Freedom House in its recent report.

The group says these high-profile, egregious cases are just the tip of the iceberg in a much larger system of surveillance, harassment and intimidation. Many overseas Chinese and exiled minorities feel that the CCP is watching them and restricting their ability to exercise basic rights even while living in a foreign democracy.

The wide scope of China’s transnational repression is the result of a broad and ever-expanding definition of who should be subject to the Chinese Communist Party’s extraterritorial control.

Due to China’s growing international power, his campaign has a significant effect on the rights and freedoms of overseas Chinese and exiled minority communities in dozens of countries. Additionally, the CCP’s use of transnational repression poses a long-term threat to rule-of-law systems in other countries. This is because Beijing’s influence is powerful enough not only to violate the rule of law in an individual case, but also to reshape legal systems and international norms in its interests.

The harshest forms of direct transnational repression of Chinese agents (espionage, cyberattacks, threats, and physical attacks) stem primarily from the CCP’s national security and military apparatus: agencies such as the Ministry of State Security (MSS), the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and the Popular Liberation Army (EPL), although the precise division of labor between these entities is often unclear.

Persecution of Uyghurs, Tibetans, and political dissidents is often carried out by the MSS,3 but the MPS is often involved in threats against family members inside China, or in cases where exiles are called in by regional authorities to threaten them from behind. within China.

Other forms of transnational repression that involve working through the legal and political systems of foreign countries, including arrests and extraditions, or involving diplomatic staff at embassies and consulates, are carried out through agencies such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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