National security authority accuses CIA of ‘bringing suit against its victims’ in bilingual article, showing anti-spy moves justified, legitimate
Published: Feb 18, 2024 07:45 PM
Chinese Ministry of State Security

Chinese Ministry of State Security

"You can do anything for intelligence while I shall do nothing against espionage?" China's Ministry of State Security questions the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in its latest bilingual article published on its WeChat account on Sunday in response to the CIA chief's recent smears against China's anti-espionage actions.

While the China-US relationship is at a critical stage of stabilization and improvement and the two countries are actively implementing the San Francisco Vision, William Burns, the director of the CIA, in a recent article on Foreign Affairs titled "Spycraft and Statecraft," said the agency has committed substantially more resources toward China-related intelligence collection, operations and analysis around the world, more than doubling the percentage of its overall budget focused on China over just the last two years. The CIA is hiring and training more Putonghua speakers, expanding the confrontation against China to every corner of the agency.

In response, the Chinese security authority said in its bilingual article on Sunday "as a matter of fact, it is not the first time the director of the CIA which is the largest spy agency across the globe has made such outrageous statements or 'freely admitted its guilt.'"

The Chinese authority continued to say that "in recent years, the US, on the one hand, started intelligence wars, sparing no efforts to step up its espionage against China and, on the other hand, 'brought suit against its victims,' scandalously smearing China's justifiable defense and trying to misrepresent the Counterespionage Law of PRC as an 'evil law.'"

"It is nothing but that 'one may steal a horse while another may not look over the hedge' or another typical case of hegemonic, domineering and bullying practices of the US," the article pointed out.

Li Wei, an expert on national security at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times on Sunday that for a long time, the US has been a global intelligence powerhouse, with the CIA extending its reach to every corner of the world.

As China continues its peaceful development, the CIA's intelligence focus has gradually shifted toward China, as evidenced by its establishment of the China Mission Center, Li said, noting that Burns' accusation against China is an attempt to hype the intelligence threat posed by China.

The expert explained that the signal being sent is that not only is the CIA's China Mission Center engaged in intelligence activities targeting China, but all other departments of the CIA are also conducting intelligence operations against China, which is an unprecedented move by the CIA.

"This highlighted the extreme measures the US is willing to take to maintain its hegemony in intelligence utilization and application," Li said.

The Chinese national security authority also revealed in its article that in October, 2021, adhering to a Cold War mindset, that the CIA built the China Mission Center, the only CIA organization structure named after a country, so as to use its approach toward former Soviet Union in its China mission. In July, 2023, Burns even "boasted" in public on the Aspen Security Forum that the CIA had made great progress in rebuilding its intelligence network in China, according to the article.

As one of China's countermeasures toward the US espionage moves, the comprehensive revision of the Counterespionage Law, especially the addition of the Chapter, "Security Protection," facilitates China's counterespionage work in the spirit of the rule of law and helps create an even better environment for development, the article noted.

However, the CIA cooked up such false or preposterous narratives that China's revision of the Counterespionage Law leads to "generalizing national security," "undermining the business environment," "detaining foreign nationals arbitrarily" or "coercive gathering of enterprise data," according to the article.

The revision of the Counterespionage Law is a crucial aspect of China's comprehensive promotion of the rule of law, Li said. "In order to comprehensively promote the rule of law and safeguard national security, China conducts counter-espionage activities in accordance with the relevant laws, which is fully in line with international norms, international law and the normal practice of maintaining national security through the rule of law," Li stressed.

"Regardless of how others may attack this point, we will persist in our approach. Our national security is not to be trampled upon by other countries; we will uphold it in accordance with the law, and our efforts will only be stronger, not weaker," Li said.

The article also explained that the revision of the Counterespionage Law in 2023 offers a clear-cut distinction between a lawful act and espionage, clarifies justifiable and long-arm jurisdiction, reasonably distinguishes an unlawful act from a crime, endeavors to protect rather than steal data, and safeguards rather than violates human rights.

Although each country has its national security concerns, the security of one state shall never be at the cost of the insecurity of another state. Now that the CIA has repeatedly vowed to rebuild its intelligence networks in China so as to gather more China-related intelligence, China has no other choice but to use legal means to guard against and crack down on espionage activities. This is the only way we can create a sound and safe working and living environment for those who are really peace-loving and willing to invest in China, the Chinese security authority stated.

This is not the first time that the Ministry of State Security published articles in bilingual form to raise awareness among our domestic population about the importance of safeguarding national security and countering espionage. At the same time, it also demonstrates to the world China's determination, legitimacy, and adherence to international law and conventions in safeguarding its own national security, Li said.