By Bill Gertz
The Washington Times
March 19, 2009
A veteran Chinese intelligence officer who defected to the United States
says that his country's civilian spy service spends most of its time
trying to steal secrets overseas but also works to bolster Beijing's
Communist Party rule by repressing religious and political dissent
"In some sense you can say that intelligence work between two countries
is just like war but without the fire," Li Fengzhi told The Washington
Times in an interview aided by an interpreter.
Mr. Li worked for years as an Ministry of State Security intelligence
officer inside China before defecting to the United States, where is he
awaiting a response to his request for political asylum. He gave a rare,
detailed interview to The Times on Sunday regarding the activities of
the MSS, China's Communist-controlled civilian spy agency.
His prior work as a Chinese spy was confirmed to The Times by a Western
government source familiar with his defection. The source spoke on the
condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of Mr. Li's case.
Mr. Li told The Times that the MSS focuses on both counterintelligence -
working against foreign intelligence agencies - and the collection of
secrets and technology.
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