Aussie daily ‘turns’ Chinese service bureau to spying agency overnight

By Zhang Han and Xie Wenting Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/16 21:13:41

Australia Photo: VCG

Australian media reports on the Australian embassy's recruitment of Chinese nationals via a Beijing agency as "putting spies into consulates" again exposed their ignorance and sinister motive, insiders and observers said. 

Media outlet The Australian on Wednesday reported that the Australian embassy in Beijing is recruiting via the Beijing Service Bureau for Diplomatic Missions (BDS), offering roughly 341,000 yuan ($52,124) a year for a senior adviser and interpreter. 

The report also cited a "leaked" report which "revealed members of Communist Party of China (CPC) working in foreign institutions," despite a questionable database of CPC members.  

The Global Times found it jumped from recruiting via a Chinese agency to recruiting Chinese spies without providing any evidence. 

But The Australian seems comfortable with such logical loopholes and immediately started to discuss how the narrative was echoed by Australian politicians who urged the embassy to change its recruitment process.

A Chinese employee of a foreign embassy told the Global Times on condition of anonymity that the news report showed it had no idea of what the BDS does and how foreign missions operate in China.

A foreign embassy or international organization's Chinese branch contacts the BDS (or an equivalent in another city) and publishes a recruitment ad on the latter's website. In the advertisement, the foreign institution will indicate where applicants should send their CVs and be interviewed, the Chinese employee explained. 

The foreign institution is in charge of screening CVs and following procedures independently. When it decides to hire somebody, the prospective employee will go through administrative procedures and undergo a physical exam at the BDS. The employee's social security is paid via the BDS. 

The Global Times found the US embassy is recruiting a bodyguard shift leader, and the Italian embassy is recruiting a driver via the BDS. 

"It is astonishing that a foreign media accused [Chinese working in foreign embassies] of being spies without proof," the employee said.

Chinese staffers are assisting foreign diplomats in their daily work and live in China, as many may face language or other barriers. "Such slander is a great disrespect to all Chinese employees," she said. 

Foreign institutions have been recruiting via the BDS or similar agencies in other cities for decades, and it suddenly became an issue when Australian media wanted to stir up trouble, observers said. 

Chen Hong, director of the Australian Studies Center at East China Normal University in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Wednesday that The Australian is an infamous far-right news outlet owned by Rupert Murdoch. Its latest attacks on China and the CPC show a clear mechanism of anti-China politicians using media to stir up public sentiments and influence the ruling party.

Chen wrote an article, The Australian 'turned' me into a CPC member overnight, to correct The Australian's factual error in the CPC member list story, however, it was denied publication and used in a truncated manner.  

Continuing on its slander, does The Australian want to kick out Chinese staffers even if the embassy is paralyzed? Chen asked, noting the unprecedented move violates Chinese sovereign rights, and goes against Chinese laws and rules on employment.  


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