The 3 Types of CCP Spies in Australia Now

Many Australians will be incensed to learn of foreign spies in their midst, but it is a reality to be confronted.CommentaryThe revelation by a former Chinese operative that some 1,200 spies for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are active in Australia does not come as a shock, and was unsurprising for anyone with experience with the local diaspora.As the former CCP spy, known as “Eric,” told a Defending Australia conference in Canberra, there were different categories espionage collaborators.First Category: CCP OfficialsThe first group are the employees of the CCP, the various diplomatic officials whose efforts are unambiguously directed to the interests of Beijing.This week, an example of their efforts was displayed when it was revealed that the Chinese consul in New South Wales emailed 11 MPs lambasting them for attending a function to mark the inauguration of Taiwan’s new president, Lai Ching-Te.When the letter was revealed, the Chinese officials took offence, as if the bullying correspondence was acceptable diplomacy.CCP diplomats have no right to ban Australian MPs—state and federal—from attending functions, which was the import of the letter.Related StoriesAt least this level of interference in the affairs of Australia is visible.Second Category: Professional CCP AgentsWhat is worse is the ongoing interference in Australian affairs by both known consular officials and other operatives.These activities include constant monitoring of Chinese students at universities and other higher education institutions.The activities are not confined to Australia, but occur globally.In fact, in the past week, there have been reports from Germany of surveillance of Chinese nationals at universities in the European nation.In the UK, a number of employees of MPs have been charged with spying related offences.Beyond surveillance, Chinese consular officials have bused students to demonstrations and help arrange protests.There is an awareness amongst overseas students in Australia that their words and actions are being constantly monitored.The former spy, “Eric,” estimated there were some 200 professional operatives active in Australia; some employees of the Beijing regime, others employed by provincial governments.They operate under various covers, including as members of the business community.Third Category: Spies In The Diaspora CommunityA third level of surveillance involves pro-Beijing residents of Australia, especially amongst the Chinese diaspora. As a member of Parliament representing an electorate with a large Chinese community, I was aware of regular claims about CCP agents locally.The most obvious example was the conviction in the past year of a member of the diaspora seeking to unlawfully influence a federal MP.These activities—the work of Beijing’s United Front Work Department, and its domestic front organisations—have been ongoing for years.The academics, Clive Hamilton and Mareike Olhberg, exposed the networks of CCP influence and surveillance in their books, Silent Invasion and Hidden Hand.The United Front has been described by regime leader, Xi Jinping as a vital organ of the CCP government.There Could be More SpiesGiven the size of the Chinese diaspora in Australia, and the number of electorates with sizeable Chinese populations, it is surprising that there are only 1,200 spying and assisting the CCP.Apart from the claims by “Eric” this past week, the matter has been raised by the head of Australia’s domestic security agency ASIO, on a number of occasions.In recent annual assessments, the head of the organisation Mike Burgess, has pointed to the threat of domestic terrorism as the agency’s primary concern.This is not to downplay the seriousness of the incidence of foreign spying in Australia. It simply is a rating of the increased likelihood of a terrorist incident occurring in the current circumstances, in particular the events in the Middle East.In some past years, ASIO has placed foreign surveillance at the top of its list of concerns.These two interests of the security agencies will continue to manifest themselves in the coming years. Neither is about to disappear.An Ongoing Threat We Need To ConfrontMeanwhile, Eric’s testimony is just the latest reminder of the threats we face.Along with Beijing’s increasing cyber-warfare against Western nations, including Australia, the surveillance of Australians remains an ongoing challenge.Many Australians will be incensed to learn of foreign spies in their midst, but it is a reality to be confronted.The days of denial are long past: Australia faces a real ongoing threat from the CCP’s multi-faceted war on the west.Being aware of the presence of foreign operatives is the first step to addressing the issue. Ensuring that our security agencies have the resources to expose and counter their activities is the second step.Restoring the heads of ASIO and ASIS to full membership of the National Security Committee is an urgent action the Albanese government should under

The 3 Types of CCP Spies in Australia Now

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Many Australians will be incensed to learn of foreign spies in their midst, but it is a reality to be confronted.

Commentary

The revelation by a former Chinese operative that some 1,200 spies for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are active in Australia does not come as a shock, and was unsurprising for anyone with experience with the local diaspora.

As the former CCP spy, known as “Eric,” told a Defending Australia conference in Canberra, there were different categories espionage collaborators.

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First Category: CCP Officials

The first group are the employees of the CCP, the various diplomatic officials whose efforts are unambiguously directed to the interests of Beijing.

This week, an example of their efforts was displayed when it was revealed that the Chinese consul in New South Wales emailed 11 MPs lambasting them for attending a function to mark the inauguration of Taiwan’s new president, Lai Ching-Te.

When the letter was revealed, the Chinese officials took offence, as if the bullying correspondence was acceptable diplomacy.

CCP diplomats have no right to ban Australian MPs—state and federal—from attending functions, which was the import of the letter.

At least this level of interference in the affairs of Australia is visible.

.

Second Category: Professional CCP Agents

What is worse is the ongoing interference in Australian affairs by both known consular officials and other operatives.

These activities include constant monitoring of Chinese students at universities and other higher education institutions.

The activities are not confined to Australia, but occur globally.

In fact, in the past week, there have been reports from Germany of surveillance of Chinese nationals at universities in the European nation.

In the UK, a number of employees of MPs have been charged with spying related offences.

Beyond surveillance, Chinese consular officials have bused students to demonstrations and help arrange protests.

There is an awareness amongst overseas students in Australia that their words and actions are being constantly monitored.

The former spy, “Eric,” estimated there were some 200 professional operatives active in Australia; some employees of the Beijing regime, others employed by provincial governments.

They operate under various covers, including as members of the business community.

.

Third Category: Spies In The Diaspora Community

A third level of surveillance involves pro-Beijing residents of Australia, especially amongst the Chinese diaspora. As a member of Parliament representing an electorate with a large Chinese community, I was aware of regular claims about CCP agents locally.

The most obvious example was the conviction in the past year of a member of the diaspora seeking to unlawfully influence a federal MP.

These activities—the work of Beijing’s United Front Work Department, and its domestic front organisations—have been ongoing for years.

The academics, Clive Hamilton and Mareike Olhberg, exposed the networks of CCP influence and surveillance in their books, Silent Invasion and Hidden Hand.

The United Front has been described by regime leader, Xi Jinping as a vital organ of the CCP government.

.

There Could be More Spies

Given the size of the Chinese diaspora in Australia, and the number of electorates with sizeable Chinese populations, it is surprising that there are only 1,200 spying and assisting the CCP.

Apart from the claims by “Eric” this past week, the matter has been raised by the head of Australia’s domestic security agency ASIO, on a number of occasions.

In recent annual assessments, the head of the organisation Mike Burgess, has pointed to the threat of domestic terrorism as the agency’s primary concern.

This is not to downplay the seriousness of the incidence of foreign spying in Australia. It simply is a rating of the increased likelihood of a terrorist incident occurring in the current circumstances, in particular the events in the Middle East.

In some past years, ASIO has placed foreign surveillance at the top of its list of concerns.

These two interests of the security agencies will continue to manifest themselves in the coming years. Neither is about to disappear.

.

An Ongoing Threat We Need To Confront

Meanwhile, Eric’s testimony is just the latest reminder of the threats we face.

Along with Beijing’s increasing cyber-warfare against Western nations, including Australia, the surveillance of Australians remains an ongoing challenge.

Many Australians will be incensed to learn of foreign spies in their midst, but it is a reality to be confronted.

The days of denial are long past: Australia faces a real ongoing threat from the CCP’s multi-faceted war on the west.

Being aware of the presence of foreign operatives is the first step to addressing the issue. Ensuring that our security agencies have the resources to expose and counter their activities is the second step.

Restoring the heads of ASIO and ASIS to full membership of the National Security Committee is an urgent action the Albanese government should undertake.

Their regular input into discussions about Australia’s national security is vital. To continue to isolate them from the forum where our security is regularly discussed, negligently endangers our freedom and democracy.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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