Each time we cover Chinese espionage here at SOFREP we have come to expect the usual deluge of Chinese nationals accusing us of being racist. You know, racist against the oppressed Han Chinese minority group that numbers in well over a billion people…
A propaganda poster recently spread around Beijing as a part of “National Security Education Day” warns the Chinese people of treacherous caucasian spies that come to China to seduce women and steal national security secrets. In the cartoon strip, David, our big nosed and wavy haired foreign spy seduces an attractive Chinese woman named Xiao Li and elicits national security secrets from her. She is a good mark considering that her job is to be, “in charge of composing internal references based on the policies of the central authorities.” It sounds like our dear Xiao Li is responsible for correlating hacked military and industrial secrets from the west using library science, a technique the People’s Republic of China calls Qingbao.
Of course, the love affair ends in heartbreak when David pops smoke and disappears with Xiao Li’s confidential documents. Now poor Xiao Li is suspected of violating Chinese law by the police.
The hypocrisy of the Chinese government is so transparent that it is hard not to laugh. The PRC definitely met their propaganda quota for National Security Education Day, as we would expect, but take a look at the difference between their internal messaging to the Chinese people and the messaging that they deliver to the western world.
You can always count on the Chinese government to play the victim card. A op-ed published by China’s state controlled Xinhua agency in response to US accusations of cyber-espionage says, “As a matter of fact, in the cyber space, China is a victim rather than a trouble maker. After all, it’s the United States that has an overwhelming edge in Internet technology, with the world’s biggest Internet intelligence agency and a first-rate cyber army.”
The op-ed continued, trying to deflect attention away from Chinese espionage saying of American accusations, “with such gimmick, certain politicians and parties could reap political gains, while the intelligence agencies and the military obtain new authorization or more budgets, and related contractors win large orders…The so-called cyber attacks claimed by the United States may well be a farce directed by the superpower itself.”
It is widely known that the Chinese are heavily invested in industrial espionage as well as having spies and proxies steal military secrets here in America. When they get caught red handed, their narrative is to accuse America of racist policies which unfairly target Chinese people.
As US authorities arrest suspected Chinese spies, Chinese bloggers write things like:
While some investigations might yield successful prosecutions of spies, a disturbingly high number of these investigations appear to lack any credible evidence of wrongdoing and appear built predominantly around racial profiling. Often, the stories are the same: an (Asian American) person is targeted, investigated, arrested and charged with espionage — frequently for having committed only routine and misdemeanor errors, or for having done nothing wrong at all…In many of the cases, non-White skin colour alone appears to be taken as “just cause” for drawing the attention of federal authorities.
When the US government expressed concern over China’s horrible human rights record, Liu Hainian, who is the director of the Human Rights Institution under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences fired back by calling America out for police brutality, “Most of those were people of colour,” Liu said. He went on to say, “Think about it: certain extremist groups that now exist, including Islamic State, wasn’t it the Americans who first off promoted them from behind?” So America invented ISIS according to the Chinese.
So let’s get this straight, China does not engage in espionage against the United States? Rather, America hacked itself to justify defense budgets and ulterior motives. Furthermore, those Chinese spies that we do catch are simply the victims of racism. Last but not least, we also invented ISIS.
The string of denials and counter-accusations from the Chinese government are no mistake. Neither are rebuttals and protests from Chinese-American groups. This is a carefully crafted counter-narrative designed to appeal to American sensibilities, and the genuine antipathy that Americans feel towards racism. In the meantime, China is not backing down from its massive espionage operations directed against the United States. It also isn’t backing down from ethnic cleansing in Tibet, Xinjiang, or the persecution of minority groups.
Along the way, the PRC seems to have absolutely no problem accusing America of being racist while warning their own people about devious foreign devils trying to steal their government’s secrets.