The Chinese national emblem and flags are displayed above the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China (representational image) | Photo: Giulia Marchi | Bloomberg
The Chinese national emblem and flags are displayed above the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China (representational image) | Photo: Giulia Marchi | Bloomberg


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New Delhi: China has earned much infamy as an opaque country that relies on its security and intelligence agencies to keep a tight grip on its citizens, dissidents and foreigners, while also indulging in practices like industrial espionage and cyber warfare.

While intelligence agencies of India, Pakistan and many countries like the US, Russia and Israel are well-known, the Chinese intelligence set-up is shrouded in secrecy. But these layers are slowly peeling off, sources in the defence and security establishment have told ThePrint.

“They operate through multiple layers, which could include media or commercial firms. It is believed that many of the Chinese tech companies and other firms have connections to the Chinese Communist Party and the military,” a source said.

However, it is difficult to verify these claims because China remains a closed and controlled society, and there is a language barrier.

Anne-Marie Brady, professor of political science at New Zealand’s University of Canterbury, has written about the main Chinese intelligence agencies in an article titled ‘Party Faithful’ published in the latest issue of Australian Foreign Affairs, brought to light in a column by Peter Hartcher of The Sydney Morning Herald this week.

Hartcher also cites the 2019 book Chinese Communist Espionage: An Intelligence Primer by Americans Peter Mattis and Matthew Brazil to say that today, China has more people engaged in its spying network than any other country.


Also read: Huawei has deep connections with Chinese intelligence service: Mike Pompeo