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The Long Arm of China’s Security Services

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SUBSCRIBER+ EXCLUSIVE REPORTING — When Chinese President Xi Jinping came to San Francisco last November to meet with President Joe Biden, Chinese pro-democracy activists in the U.S. turned out in force to protest Xi’s authoritarian rule. They were met by other ethnically Chinese people wielding metal rods and pepper spray – a pro-regime presence that several protesters said was orchestrated by the Chinese government.

For Jinrui Zhong, a third-year law student at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, the pressure from Beijing has been more subtle. Zhong told The Cipher Brief that when Chinese security services suspected he was speaking out against Xi’s regime, they detained his father in China and told him to tell his son to “love his country more and love the Party more.” The message came with a warning, Zhong said: the family could lose its home and his father could lose his job as a low-level bureaucrat.

“The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief in terms of the number of articles published by formers.” —Sept. 2018, Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 62

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