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Germany Cracks Down on Chinese Regime's Spying

July 2, 2010

By Gisela Sommer
Epoch Times
June 30, 2010

An espionage incident only weeks prior to
chancellor Angela Merkel’s planned China visit
may be threatening the bilateral relations
between Berlin and Beijing said German news
magazine Spiegel Online in a June 26 article.
Just days earlier, China’s intelligence gathering
activities were prominently highlighted in a
report issued by Germany’s Ministry of the Interior.

Germany’s Federal Prosecutor’s office is
investigating two high-ranking Chinese officials
on allegations of espionage, and the matter could
make Angela Merkel’s upcoming China visit more difficult.

According to information obtained by the
,i>Spiegel, Federal Prosecutors are investigating
two Chinese individuals on accusations of spying
against practitioners of Falun Gong in Germany.
One of the accused is said to hold the position
of a Chinese vice-minister and serves as head of
the “610 Office,” an extra-judicial arm of the
Chinese Communist Party, which executes the
Communist Party’s directive to fight the Falun
Gong meditation movement worldwide.

The Spiegel report also mentioned that at the end
of last year, in another case, a diplomat of the
Chinese Consulate in Munich was ordered to leave
Germany in December 2009 after he was found to
have spied on the German Uighur community. (Also
read: Merkel's China Visit Marred by Hacking Allegations)

Fighting the 'Five Poisons'

Just days before the Spiegel article, on June 21,
Germany’s Ministry of the Interior issued its
2009 Constitutional Protection Report that
addresses terrorism and espionage threats to the country.

The report devotes several pages to spying
activities by the Chinese intelligence service,
describing methodical information-gathering
methods pertaining not only to political,
industrial, and military applications, but also
to groups of people the Chinese regime considers a threat to its rule.

One section in the report is called "Fighting the
Five Poisons." The report describes how the
Chinese regime defames groups of people it
considers the greatest danger to its own rule,
calling these the "five poisons":

"Affected are most of all those whom China
suspects of separatism: Uighurs and Tibetans, as
well as adherents of the meditation movement
Falun Gong. Beyond these, China’s communist party
also considers members of the democracy movement
and advocates for an independent Taiwan as state enemies," the report says.

610 Office

According to Falun Gong sources, the 610 Office
is an extralegal, Gestapo-like agency that was
formed on 6/10/1999 at the direction of former
Chinese leader Jiang Zemin, specifically to
persecute practitioners of Falun Gong.

A recent Clearwisdom (a Web site run by Falun
Gong practitioners that reports cases of
persecution) report tells about the agency’s use
of extreme torture. Along with beatings to the
face and body with heavy objects, some of the
most common torture techniques that 610 personnel
administer or supervise include sleep deprivation
for days and weeks, shocks to sensitive body
parts with up to six high voltage batons
simultaneously, the prying out of fingernails, etc.

In addition to torture, 610 agents
administratively send Falun Gong practitioners
directly to labor camps, detention centers, and
brainwashing classes "where they can be locked
away for three years without a court hearing or
other due process rights guaranteed to the Chinese people under Chinese law.

Hao Fengjun, a former Tianjin City 610 officer
fled to Australia in 2005 because he no longer
wanted to participate in the mistreatment of
Falun Gong practitioners. In February 2004 Hao
was placed in 30 days solitary confinement after
calling the party’s anti-Falun Gong propaganda "lies."

The former 610 officer said that though many of
his colleagues disapprove of the 610 Office’s
work, plenty others were quick to tap into the 610 Office's system of rewards.

"There were people who worked very hard because
the more Falun Gong practitioners they arrested,
the more bonuses they would get," Hao said.

Even more lucrative than arresting practitioners
in China is collecting intelligence on overseas
adherents; basic information about practitioners'
personal lives, if deemed valuable, typically
fetches as much as 50,000 yuan (over US$7,300).

Through a system of informants otherwise leading
ordinary lives overseas, the 610 Office builds
entire profiles of overseas communities.

Hao says he "personally received intelligence
information about Falun Gong practitioners in
Australia, the United States, and Canada" so
detailed as to reveal where people worked and which activities they joined.
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