Thursday, July 2, 2020

The so-called Chinese spy who leaves Australia puzzled

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A 26-year-old Chinese man claims to have been involved in undercover operations in Hong Kong and Taiwan before defecting. Canberra tries to shed light on his profile

Time to Reading 4 min.

The premises housing the headquarters of the private enterprise China Innovation Investment Limited, Hong Kong. China's Wang Liqiang, who claims to be a spy, says she is being used by Beijing to infiltrate local universities and media. Ng Han Guan / AP

Real revelations? Manipulation? Australian and Taiwanese secret services are sifting through the statements of 26-year-old Chinese spy Wang Liqiang, who claims to have defected and is in Australia. He entered it in April on a tourist visa linked to a fake South Korean passport, to then claim asylum – like 9,000 other Chinese nationals since June 2018.

Speaking in several Australian media that revealed the case, Saturday, November 23, the man claims to have approached the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) to reveal the Chinese methods of espionage targeting Australia, but also and above all to infiltrate the protest movement in Hong Kong, as well as influencing the elections in Taiwan. According to his lawyer, Wang Liqiang made an affidavit to ASIO.

"Our work in Taiwan was the most important of all"says Wang. He said he arrived in the island, which Beijing does not recognize independence, under a false identity, with a falsified South Korean passport. Its objective is to recruit agents to influence the local elections and referendums of November 2018, as well as the presidential election of January 11, 2020, whose favorite is the current president Tsai Ing-wen, opposed to any institutional rapprochement with the China.

"Sabotage the world democracy"

In Hong Kong, Wang Liqiang claims to have been part of a covert operation, hidden behind the activities of a private enterprise that infiltrates local universities and media outlets, aimed at countering the pro-democracy movement in the region Administrative Court since June. According to him, his organization, "Infiltrated all universities, including student associations and other student groups".
Wang Liqiang also said he was involved in the abduction in 2015 of Lee Bo, one of five dissident Hong Kong booksellers who had mysteriously disappeared, before reappearing, in custody in mainland China. Kidnappings denied by China, which nevertheless accuses these five men of publishing hostile documents in Beijing.

Wang Liqiang also allegedly provided the Australian secret service with the identity of senior Chinese military intelligence officers based in Hong Kong, and details of how they operate. "I was involved in organizations that aim to sabotage global democracy", summarizes Mr. Wang, who still insists "Personally participated in a series of espionage activities".

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