Wire-tapping Wars: The World of Official Espionage

Before the Southern Weekly crisis broke out last month, one of the paper’s sister publications, the magazine Southern People Weekly, published a scathing exposé on the secret world of spying and backstabbing endemic throughout Chinese officialdom. Aside from revelations about Bo Xilai bugging calls with president Hu Jintao, there has been little available information about surveillance inside the Party. The December article narrates the adventures of Qi Hong, an ex-wire-tapping detective who was so busy debugging the offices of various Chinese officials, he once dismantled 40 hidden wires and cameras in a single week. The piece is no longer available from Southern People Weekly online. CDT’s Mengyu Dong has translated the entire article: Wire-tapping with Chinese Characteristics Qi Hong grabbed a handrail on a crowded Beijing subway, exposing a deep scar. Others on the train took notice and immediately moved away. The scar was from 23 years ago. Although he had became used to people’s stares after all these years, it nonetheless evoked in him a sense of utter helplessness. He can’t explain what happened to other people. Just like countless other life experiences, this story started with ideals but ended with absurdity. Qi Hong, about 185 centimeters tall, always appears very stern and alert when not speaking. But when he does speak, one can feel the intensity of his thoughts. I knew about him through a news report published on the front page of Southern Weekly. In the report, he revealed that Daocheng Company (which claimed to be “the third party between the doctor and patient”) bullied their patients, deceived the public, and allegedly committed other illegal acts. “It’s not ‘revealing’–it’s simply telling the truth,” Qi Hong corrected me. I spent a few days chatting with Qi Hong in a city in Shandong Province. Much of the content of ...
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3 Responses to Wire-tapping Wars: The World of Official Espionage

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  2. Will says:

    Great investigative journalism on Qi Hong’s detection of the prevalence of back-stabbers installing bugging and surveillance cameras in their clothing as well as in Party-state officials’ offices and residences. No wonder many Party bureaucrats are inclined to discuss the most sensitive matters in bathhouses instead.

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