N.B Chyoi / September 02, 2021
China has been floating shadowy organizations to expand their influence ever since the era of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin who established “610 Office” on June 10, 1999. The organization is destined to used for atrocities over Tibetans, Uyghur, Falun Gong and others state’s adversaries, and it was abolished in 2018.
The current Chinese President Xi Jinping reproduced “610 Office” as “United Front Work Department”, also know as Magic Weapon. Such groups enjoy extralegal status and generally headed by Senior Member of Politburo of China Communist Party. Propaganda, Surveillance, Intelligence collection, Persecution, punishment and execution of any individual or group posing threat to communist regime within or outside is the responsibility of such illegal entities.
The strength of the organizations varies from two to three thousands. The members are young university graduates seeking jobs or students aspiring for job/scholarships abroad are motivated in the name of nationalism and become recruits. Although, these organizations are placed under Ministry of Public Security Bureau but they are independent as far as functions and execution is concerned. Torture, extra judicial killings and atrocities committed by “610 Office” or Magic Weapon are known across the globe now. There is well established network of such agencies in Tibet and Xinjiang provinces.
Similarly, some state sponsored NGOs like Global Environment Institute & China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation are deployed where BRI projects are undergoing. Chen Quanguo was CCP Secretary of Tibet who carried mass demolition of monasteries, enforced implementation of Chinese language and suppression of Tibetans’ religious activities. His ruthlessness was rewarded by CCP and he was appointed the CPP Secretary of Xinjiang Province, where he established detentions camp,mass arrest, forced labour, demolition of mosques and extensive surveillance on local people.
The actual need of such institutions is basically insecurities of the senior leadership of the CCP and the emerging discontent within the rank and files forced them to raise such shadowy organizations to defend their interest. Espionage has actually become “National Duty” for Chinese diaspora abroad and perhaps compulsion too. This is the reason, today across the globe, Chinese are suspected or seen as “spies”.
Defections of Chinese professionals to U.S, U.K or Australia have exposed the clandestine activities of “Magic Weapon” and the extent of inroads developed inside their system. But major concern remains about the countries where activities of such shadowy babies go unchecked and real time damage continues.
Foreign Universities remains the prime target as the resources developed have wider reach. Many Chinese Business and investment firms are headed by officers of MSS or Public Security Bureau or such shadowy groups to meet the objectives. There is need to plug the entry of these shadowy groups as they have presence in Africa, Burma, Cambodia, Laos and other under developed economies.
N.B Chyoi is a Kachin lawyer and geopolitical analyst focusing especially on Burma, India and China.
The opinion expressed here is the author’s own, and does not represent the editorial policy of The Kachin Post.