The Chinese National Emblem at the Great Hall of the People (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)


China’s spy chief vows to fight espionage after Europe arrests


China’s intelligence chief vows to organize a “powerful offensive” to fight espionage as it faces a flurry of spying accusations from Europe and the US.

The country must “continue to carry out counter-intelligence operations and improve the coordination mechanism for counter-intelligence work,” Minister of State Security Chen Yixin wrote Monday in Study Times, the Communist Party school’s official newspaper. China should “resolutely root out ‘nails’ and eliminate traitors,” he said in the front-page article.

The high-profile piece was published a week after six alleged Chinese spies were arrested in Europe, complicating Beijing’s efforts to reset ties with the European Union. The US and UK have also recently accused state-backed Chinese hackers of targeting politicians, companies and dissidents.

Beijing has itself ratcheted up efforts to crack down on spying and last year adopted a new counter-espionage law. That legislation expands the list of activities that could be considered spying, intensifying the risks for foreign firms.

Chen also vowed in the article to step up propaganda efforts around the ministry’s operation. The usually secretive spy agency has taken on a more public profile as President Xi Jinping and his coterie stress the need to better educate the public on national security.

Since joining WeChat last summer, the ministry has posted frequently on the social media service, revealing cases of alleged espionage by the US and UK amid a strategic struggle with Washington and its allies.