Eric, China’s Edward Snowden, exposes dirty and dangerous works of Chinese global espionage under Xi Jinping

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In the world of global espionage, China looms large as a potent force. The recent revelations from an undercover agent for the first time ever, who goes by the alias Eric, offer a rare glimpse into the inner workings of a secretive unit within China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS). Operating covertly from 2008 until early 2023, Eric disclosed the tactics employed by this unit in hunting down dissidents living overseas. This expose, featured in a comprehensive investigation by Four Corners, unveils the extent of China’s reach in international intelligence operations.
Recent investigations have unearthed an espionage operation within Australian borders as recently as last year.
In his revelations to Four Corners, Eric exposed the inner mechanisms of China’s feared secret police, a significant arm of the country’s intelligence infrastructure. Supported by extensive secret documents and communications, Four Corners validated Eric’s accounts of his assignments and targets across various nations including China, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Canada and Australia. His directives from handlers primarily focused on hunting down dissidents worldwide.
Eric revealed to Four Corners, which is a long-running and highly credible investigative journalism programme on ABC, that he had his sights set on Edwin Yin, a bold political activist whose online videos directly challenged President Xi Jinping and his daughter. Edwin is unwavering in his assertion that Chinese operatives operate freely and without repercussion within Australia’s borders.
China’s emboldened spy ring under Xi Jinping
Since assuming office as Chinese president in 2012, Xi Jinping elevated the country’s intelligence agencies to unprecedented levels, aiming to tighten the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) control over the Chinese diaspora. Collaborating closely with the CCP’s primary foreign influence entity, the United Front Work Department (UFWD), MPS extended its covert reach worldwide, prioritising areas critical to China’s interests.
The anti-corruption camouflage
Since 2014, Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption crusades, Fox Hunt and Sky Net, have quietly and forcibly returned over 12,000 alleged fugitives to China, as reported by the ABC. In a chilling example from 2014, two Chinese police officers clandestinely infiltrated Australia to snatch a Melbourne bus driver. When this covert operation was revealed a year later, it ignited a diplomatic firestorm between Australia and China.
In April of this year, a damning report by NGO Safeguard Defenders exposed more than 280 cases of foreign citizens and residents being extradited to China, many facing accusations of economic crimes.
Is Eric China’s Edward Snowden?
The Eric episode which now China has to deal with reminds us of Edward Snowden, a former American intelligence contractor who gained international attention in 2013 when he leaked classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) to journalists. As a former CIA employee and NSA contractor, Snowden disclosed numerous top-secret documents that revealed the extent of global surveillance programmes operated by the NSA and its international partners, including the mass collection of phone records and internet communications.
Snowden’s disclosures sparked a global debate about privacy, government surveillance and civil liberties. Some hailed him as a whistleblower exposing government overreach, while others criticised him for compromising national security. Following the leaks, Snowden fled to Hong Kong and later sought asylum in Russia, where he currently resides. He faces charges in the United States under the Espionage Act for his actions.

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