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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Canadian Reporter Used as Spy for China


Reporter and author Mark Bourrie quit his job at Xinhua after repeated requests to carry out spying assignments for the Chinese communist regime. 
 
Chinese defector Chen Yonglin, who held a senior diplomatic post for the regime in Australia, told The Epoch Times last year that Xinhua reporters are still tasked with espionage duties.
 
“They play the role of a spy because Xinhua is actually an outreach organ of the CCP’s intelligence agencies. The nature of their work means they must use all means to infiltrate and obtain intelligence,” he said.

It’s a fact repeated in a 2005 report by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which gained insight into Xinhua’s operations through former staff.

RSF detailed Xinhua’s lead role controlling information in China, exercising authority over censorship and propaganda directly under the control of the Propaganda Department.

“Xinhua is de facto run by the Propaganda Department. The agency gets its editorial line from this organ of the CCP and sticks to it slavishly,” reads the report.

Bourrie is particularly concerned about how intelligence gathered on Chinese dissidents like Tibetan activists and Falun Gong adherents is being used.

“When they go to something like a two-day conference on Tibet and film everything and transcribe everything, that is not going to a special publication—that is going to Chinese intelligence,” he said.
 
Bourrie refused requests from Xinhua to collect the names of all present at Falun Gong press conferences, but Lucy Zhou, a spokesperson for the group in Ottawa, said it isn’t unusual for other Xinhua staff, including Zhang, to collect names and take an unusual number of close-up pictures at protests.
“It is very threatening to the practitioners who are protesting,” she said.

“When practitioners go back to China they can be arrested right away because of this information that they collected. Sure we can say the freelance photographer was just doing their job, but because Xinhua was behind it, it was beyond the normal work journalists do,” she said.

Bourrie said he learned that when covering dissident events, he should focus on the local spokespeople who were already well-known to the regime and not risk the safety of others by including them in his reports.
 
More at the Epoch Times

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