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Fugitive Guo Wengui’s latest claims provide 25,000 more reasons not to trust him

By Curtis Stone (People's Daily Online)    14:46, July 13, 2017

Guo Wengui (file photo)

China’s intelligence networks in the U.S. include 25,000 spies and more than 15,000 recruited agents who have stepped up offensive spying activities, according to a sensational report by The Washington Free Beacon on July 12. The report is based on the latest outlandish anti-China claims by Guo Wengui, an Interpol "red notice" criminal suspect.

Before 2012, China had around 10,000 to 20,000 agents working in the U.S., according to the report. Around 2012, another 5,000 spies were dispatched. In addition to that, 15,000 to 18,000 other spies were developed within the States.

But the claim itself is ridiculous. In 2010, for example, the U.S. rounded up 10 deep-cover Russian spies who were sent to the U.S. for a long-term service trip. Given the difficulty and time needed for such an operation, it is reasonable to assume that overall numbers are low. In fact, a 2015 report by CNN states that the number of Chinese government secret agents in the U.S. is in the “double digits.” That number, considered high by U.S. officials at the time of the report, is a far cry from Guo’s claims.

While it is openly acknowledged in international relations that all countries spy on each other, not a shred of credible evidence exists in favor of the claim; more disturbing, Guo himself is either unwilling or unable to provide such evidence. Like many of his other outlandish claims, this one appears easy to debunk as well.

His bizarre claims do attract international attention, but they should be taken with a grain of salt. “Guo has neither named a source nor provided conclusive evidence for his claims, and their validity is unclear,” Foreign Affairs reported. The lack of hard evidence makes it impossible to believe him—even for those who want to.

Furthermore, an investigative report by Xinhua News Agency released on Monday shows that Guo is known to talk nonsense. According to the report, Guo wantonly fabricated all kinds of bizarre stories about sex and corruption based on passenger information he had illegally acquired by bribing air traffic control staff and an airline worker. Song Jun, the air traffic control staff who is accused of colluding with Guo, described him as a monster: “I’ve never seen such a greedy devil. There’s no bottom line, he’ll betray anything for money, including his country and loved ones,” said Song. “He’s sinister,” she added. “He’s a devil, a poison.”

Guo, who was the “actual controlling shareholder” of Beijing Pangu Investment and Beijing Zenith Holdings, fled China amid a corruption investigation in August 2014. He is wanted by Chinese authorities and Interpol has issued a “red notice” for him. Last month, a Chinese court ruled that Guo had directed three individuals to apply for hundreds of millions of dollars in loans from banks using fake contracts, stamps, and financial statements.

Earlier this year, a U.S. Justice Department spokesman said the U.S. “is not a safe haven for fugitives from any nation.” But Guo, also known as Miles Kwok, remains safe in the U.S., where he continues to launch unproven but gripping allegations against China. “He’s fugitive, a dissident. He’s trying to make a point by saying that he knows a lot, so as to increase his own value in the eyes of America,” said an expert who wants to remain anonymous.

If there is a lesson to be taken away from all this drama, it is that Guo seems to be adept at taking advantage of the West’s ingrained bias against China for his own personal benefit, an important fact often overlooked in the Western media, which tends to support Chinese dissidents. While his outlandish claims make for good headlines and fit into the “China threat theory,” the focus should be on facts rather than rumors.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wu Chengliang, Bianji)

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