West suspicion of China infiltration absurd

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/12 22:53:40

Following suit with Australia, New Zealand security agencies expressed concerns about China's political activities in the country, alleging attempts to access sensitive government and private sector information and also influence the overseas Chinese community, the Financial Times reported Tuesday. This came after the German intelligence agency BfV Sunday accused China of establishing contact with German officials and politicians through fake profiles on social networks like LinkedIn. And the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China is set to hold a hearing on China's operations inside the country.

It's disgraceful that in an era of globalization, some countries exhibit all the symptoms of McCarthyism: suspecting Chinese businesspeople and students, framing China and harassing Chinese visitors on exchanges. China has come under massive pressure from Western values and ideology since it introduced reform and opening nearly 40 years ago, but it has never warned of guarding against foreigners in China as potential spies.

If China adopted the same attitude as Western countries, then communities of foreign expats in Beijing would fall under suspicion: They could be controlled by their governments.

Bars and cafés in Beijing and Shanghai, frequented mostly by Westerners, would be regarded as information stations. Chinese with close ties to Westerners would be treated like informants to Western spy agencies and be accused of treason, like Australian lawmaker Sam Dastyari.

In such scenarios, all contributors to China's exchanges with the West would be too frightened to do anything and calling for mutual respect and understanding would be a taboo on both sides. The safest and most useful choice would be to lead bilateral ties toward confrontation.

It's natural that frictions occur between China and the West given their sizable cooperation and exchanges. But widespread and ill-meant questioning of Chinese involved in these exchanges is logically absurd and takes the moral low ground. Such allegations will disturb Chinese communities in the West and confuse people about the future of China-West relations.

Western elites shouldn't believe that they have taken the upper hand in relations with China and Beijing and Chinese expats will bear whatever insults come their way. Otherwise, the esteem with which Chinese regard certain Western countries will be downsized as it becomes necessary for Beijing to retaliate. China needs to figure out tactics that can silently make Western institutions and individuals truly feel the pain.

China has effectively punished some individuals in Western show business that have tried to find fault with China. We can apply this to provocative Western politicians as a form of deterrence.

China is ridiculously blamed for interfering with Western society even before it is able to do so. If this is left unhandled, the West may continue its dirty tricks, always throwing mud at China.

English is taught in many kindergartens in the country: Is China training spies from childhood? This question is ludicrous in the same way as the West upping vigilance against Chinese influence. 

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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