Leaked database shows global infiltration by CCP members, branches

Leaked database shows global infiltration by CCP members, branches

FORUM Staff

Leaked documents reveal a global web of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) infiltration, with nearly 2 million party members embedded in multinational corporations, foreign consulates and universities, according to lawmakers and media organizations.

“China watchers always knew that governments, businesses were full of Communist Party employees, but this is the first time we have had a list proving it,” Luke de Pulford, a British human rights activist and coordinator of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), told the news publication Nikkei Asia in late December 2020.

The leaked register of 1.95 million CCP members includes names, birthdates, party positions, national ID numbers and ethnicity, according to the Indo-Asian News Service. Chinese dissidents reportedly removed the data from a server in Shanghai in 2016 and subsequently provided it to IPAC and an international media consortium.

IPAC was founded in mid-2020 and includes legislators from Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Indo-Pacific. Its mission, in part, is “to help craft a proactive and strategic approach” on issues dealing with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), with a focus on areas such as enhancing security, defending human rights and protecting the international rules-based order.

“What’s amazing about this database is not just that it exposes people who are members of the Communist Party and who are now living and working all over the world, from Australia to the U.S. to the U.K. But it’s amazing because it lifts the lid on how the party operates” under General Secretary Xi Jinping, said Sharri Markson, an investigative reporter for The Australian newspaper, one of the media organizations provided with the leaked documents.

The register also shows that about 79,000 CCP branches have been established inside companies, “allowing the infiltration of those companies by CCP members who, if called on, are answerable directly” to the party and Xi, Markson said in a mid-December report for Sky News in Australia.

The companies include defense contractors, automakers, banks, telecommunications providers and drugmakers, according to media reports. At least two of the pharmaceutical firms have developed coronavirus vaccines currently being distributed in multiple nations.

The CCP has an estimated 92 million members, representing about 6.5% of China’s population. (Pictured: Chinese Communist Party delegates attend the closing session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing in May 2020.)

In Japan, about 5,000 CCP members were identified as employees of almost 300 companies or affiliates, with the majority in manufacturing, Nikkei Asia reported. “Hypothetically, if they are ordered by the party to gather intelligence, they’ll have no choice but to comply,” Yasuhiro Matsuda, a professor of international politics at the University of Tokyo, told the English-language publication.

The Chinese embassy in Japan dismissed reports on the database as false. “Their real intent is to inflame hostility toward China and stir up a clash of ideologies,” it said in a statement issued to Nikkei Asia.

Markson said there’s no evidence that CCP members identified in the register are spies. However, the concern is whether companies and governments “knew of the CCP members and, if so, have any steps been taken to protect their data and people?”

The revelations illuminate the CCP’s pattern of overt and covert efforts to infiltrate and influence organizations worldwide, observers say. In December 2020, the U.S. Department of State tightened visa restrictions for CCP members and their families in response to the party’s “malicious interference in domestic political affairs, academic freedom, personal privacy, or business activity.”

In a bipartisan statement issued that month, U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Mark Warner, acting chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, cited Beijing’s “deliberate and insidious” infiltration of U.S. society. Rubio also is a co-chairman of IPAC.

“Our intelligence is clear: the Chinese Communist Party will stop at nothing to exert its global dominance,” the statement said.

Image Credit: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

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