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Former Secret Agent Reveals Strategies for Entrapping Taiwanese Businessmen in China

Hao Fengjun, a defector from the Chinese Communist Party’s police system, advises Taiwanese businessmen on avoiding the Party’s entrapment schemes.

[Editor’s Note: Hao Fengjun is a former secret agent with the Tianjin Public Security Bureau. After graduating from Nankai University in 1994, Hao worked in the Heping District Bureau of the Tianjin Public Security Bureau for two years as an anti-riot police officer and spent another two years as a safety patrol officer. In 2000, he went to work for the "610 Office," which was organized by former head of state Jiang Zemin on June 10, 1999, for carrying out the campaign to persecute Falun Gong adherents.

In February 2005, Hao fled China and applied for political asylum in Australia. On June 7, 2005, in Melbourne, he publicly denounced the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Since then, Hao has been traveling around the world participating in forums and conferences on the Chinese Communist Party and the mass movement of resignations from the Party.

On December 17, 2005, Hao was invited to Taiwan to speak at a lecture and expose the strategies that China uses to frame Taiwanese businessmen in order to confiscate their investments and coerce them into spying. The Taiwan Hsinchu Science Industrial Park, located in the "silicon valley" of Taiwan, sponsored the lecture. It was one of a series of lectures to educate Taiwanese businessmen on how to stay safe when doing business in mainland China. Below is the summary based on the audio recording of Hao’s speech.]

In 2000, Hao was randomly picked by computer to work for the 610 Office in Tianjin. After witnessing several torture cases of Falun Gong adherents, he started to question the legitimacy and purpose of the 610 Office. He requested to be transferred back to the district office but was denied due to a staff shortage in the 610 Office.

In 2003, the 610 Office changed its name to the "Bureau for Handling and Taking Precautions Against Crimes Committed by Evil Cults." The main function has expanded to oversee 14 religions, such as Catholicism delegated by the Vatican and some Christian sects.

The CCP allows only the "patriotic" Catholic and Christian churches recognized by the Three-Self Patriot Churches, and considers the rest illegal "evil cults." The CCP takes religious belief as a major threat to its ideology, and people who participate in independent religious activities can be charged with "breaking the law by being involved in evil cult activities."

In 2003, Hao was transferred to the division that monitors the activities of Taiwan businessmen who hold religious beliefs. Whether Taiwanese nationals are businessmen or students, the CCP regards them as potential spies, and the CCP’s intelligence organization closely monitors them.

Citing a case from 2003 in which he was personally involved, Hao said, "We knew everything about him." The object of surveillance was a Taiwanese businessman, a Christian who had invested two million yuan (US$244,000) in Tianjin.{mospagebreak}

The minute that Taiwanese businessman set foot in China, he was closely monitored and followed. His hotel and business phones were tapped, and his daily contacts and activities were recorded. For instance, any activities such as contacting other Taiwanese, joining prayer congregations, or going to baptism ceremonies, as well as the location of the hotels where such ceremonies are held, how the ceremonies are performed, what songs are sung during the ceremonies, who sings the songs, who presides over the ceremonies, and who baptizes the babies are videotaped. In one instance, when this businessman intended to spread his religion to some local university students in a large park, all activities, including singing hymns and praying, were put under surveillance.

In October, the Ministry of Public Security formed the plan for his arrest. It was to be carried out by the offices of the Public Security Bureau of the 610 Office, the Commercial Bureau, the Bureau of Taxation, and the Commodity Pricing Bureau. The detailed plan was to have the Commercial Bureau confiscate his property, including manufacturing facilities and warehouses. The Bureau of Taxation would audit the company’s financial books for accounting fraud. The Pricing Bureau would find loopholes in the company’s exporting procedures. Lastly, the Public Security Bureau would complete his arrest.

The arrest was supposed to take place before his trip back home prior to the New Year. But when the businessman made a sudden decision to visit a different city to purchase a piece of land for a new manufacturing site, the arrest plan was then suspended under orders of the Ministry of Public Security in order to wait for all of his investments to come in before taking any action.

Hao Fengjun warned the businessmen to be on guard for any special treatment, including dinner parties, bath and massage services, and prostitution arranged by Chinese officials since their aim was to confiscate all the investments they could get from him. "They will do anything to make it happen," he said.

The most common ploy used for arrest is tax fraud. For example, one chooses to invest in Tianjin to build a factory and has paid all the taxes. The government tells him that if he chooses to build another site in the suburb of Tianjin, he won’t need to pay taxes since the new site will be under the same license permit. But later when the CCP officials are ready to take action against him, they can easily charge him with "tax evasion" on the piece of property for which he hasn’t paid taxes.

Prostitution is another common trap used to frame Taiwan businessmen. In China, engaging a prostitute is subject to a six-month to two-year detention and a fine of 5,000 yuan (US$600).{mospagebreak}

Hao illustrated a typical example, which is still being played out today. Besides being a special agent, Hao had another identity as a government official, which made it easy and legitimate for him to have personal contact with Taiwanese businessmen. He would introduce himself as an officer from a certain department of the municipal government with connections to the top of the chain of command. In the meantime, a few people would be assigned to contact the targeted businessman and take him to some nightclubs or Karaoke bars. The arrest could be easily arranged and a setup implemented in order to show evidence of prostitution.

The Taiwanese businessman would be asked whether he knew anyone in the government who could bail him out. Not knowing many people, he might think, "I know a high-ranking official in the municipal government. He may help me." Because the officers who made the arrest were from the same group as the official, he would be released "with the help of the high-ranking official."

After that, the businessman would be asked directly to offer some information about Christians and Falun Gong activities in Taiwan or else his investments will be in danger. "We can’t go to Taiwan, so we would like you to bring some information to us." Since the information is not related to Taiwan’s military intelligence or politics, most Taiwanese businessmen will quickly cooperate, Hao said.

Such schemes are also used to take over Taiwanese businessmen’s investments. Many businessmen who were entrapped often did not dare to speak up to expose the conspiracy for fear that their investments would be jeopardized. They were led to believe that they could still hope to recoup their investments. For example, the government might confiscate their assets in two provinces, while leaving the assets in the third province intact. Officials would then threaten that the third piece of property would also be taken away if they chose to disclose the entrapment scheme. Another game the government officials play is to convince the businessmen that the problem can be corrected in a year or two, so they should just wait and keep quiet.

Hao reminded the Taiwanese businessmen to use "self-discipline" because the CCP’s secret agents often use various means to frame, exploit, and coerce Taiwanese into spying for them while at the same time confiscating all their investments. He said that the CCP is not afraid of having its crimes exposed in Taiwan since most Chinese media organizations in Taiwan have been infiltrated by the CCP. However the Party is concerned about exposure by the Western media, and don’t want them reporting on its schemes.

Lukun Yu is a writer based in New York.