China: Spies, Lies and Blackmail
How far will the Chinese state go to eliminate dissent?
China is renowned for the control it exerts over its citizens. Lesser known, however, is how this control extends outside its borders, to ex-nationals who criticise its policies.
“The Chinese Government has two tools to manipulate the people. One is the violence, brutality. The other is propaganda.” Chen Yonglin knows this more than most: he helped to build China’s influence over foreign dissenters, before defecting himself. The tactics used appear varied yet powerful. Sheng Xue, a prominent critic of China, has been the victim of a smear campaign that she believes to stem from the Chinese authorities. “They said that I was working for a night club, and I was offering sex service", she recounts. “I receive hundreds of phone calls per day.” Exiled activist He Anguan sees little hope. “I believe our situation is only getting worse. For critics of Chinese communism, our space to speak out is continually shrinking. It’s increasingly being suppressed.”