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Who is Wang Liqiang?

A Chinese young man, Liqiang (William) Wang, defected to the Australian Intelligence Office (AUIO) a few months ago, revealing himself to be a Chinese spy stationed in Hong Kong. He said that he was working at the Hong Kong company listed as China Innovation Investment Limited (CIIL), which was a front company used by a number of different Chinese intelligence agencies. He reported to Xiang Xin, the Chairman, CEO, and Executive Director of CIIL, a key Chinese intelligence officer in Hong Kong. Xiang’s wife, Gong Qin, a Director of CIIL, is also a Chinese intelligence officer.

Wang revealed his work in Hong Kong and how he tried to influence Taiwan public opinion to be favorable towards Beijing. He also mentioned some Chinese spies in Australia. {1}

Australian media reported Wang’s case on November 23, 2019. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) immediately denied Wang’s allegations, claiming that Wang was rather an economic fraudster and not a spy.

On November 23, Shanghai police claimed that they had opened an investigation, back on April 19, 2019, into Wang who allegedly embezzled 4.6 million yuan through a fake investment project involving car imports. The authorities claimed that Wang’s true name was Wang Liqiang and his passport used the name of Wang Qiang. {2}

On November 27, Huanqiu (Global Times), posted a video online that they claimed was a copy of a court trial of Wang at the Guangze County Court, Nanping City, Fujian Province on October 14, 2016. In the video, the defendant stated that he was Wang Liqiang and admitted to the charge of embezzling 120,000 yuan. This was the first case against Wang; Shanghai’s case was the second one. However, some commentators challenged the authenticity of the video, questioning why the video didn’t provide a clear view of Wang’s face, though in theory Chinese courts has multiple cameras to capture court scenes including the defendant and attorneys. {3}

The Australian 60 Minutes program pointed out that Wang stated that, “Wang Liqiang” is just a fake name he used for the interview. His real name has not been revealed. However, the CCP’s claims were made against someone with the name of “Wang Liqiang.” {4}

On November 24, Taiwan authorities detained Wang’s boss Xiang Xin and Xiang’s wife, both of whom were visiting Taiwan and were about to board a plane to leave. The Xiang couple denied knowing Wang or that Wang was not an employee of CIIL. Then the Taiwan prosecutors showed a picture of the couple and Wang standing together. The Xiang couple could not explain why they stated earlier that they did not know Wang. {5}

1. The Age, November 23, 2019
2. ABC, November 24, 2019
3. Huanqiu, November 27, 2019
4. Sound of Hope, November 24, 2019
5. Next Magazine, November 26, 2019