FPI / June 30, 2021
As the July 1 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) approached, China was moving to quell rumors of high-profile defections while at the same time staging a loyalty campaign to bolster ideological purity within top ranks of the party.
Unconfirmed U.S. news reports last week said that Dong Jingwei, vice minister at the Ministry of State Security (MSS), the civilian spy agency, had fled China in February and was under the protection of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.
As further rumors swirled, China employed its propaganda outlets to publish a photo of Dong allegedly seated at a meeting last week of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The photo and story pointedly stated that “Dong Jingwei, deputy minister of state security, attended the meeting.”
Security correspondent Bill Gertz cited two U.S. government sources as saying they do not believe Dong defected, but declined to say whether U.S. intelligence agencies may have a high-level defector from one of the Chinese spy services.
The Washington Times reported in September that a senior PLA officer had defected to a European country and provided information on China’s covert biological weapons program.
The latest defection rumors coincided with a high-profile ceremony in Beijing during which supreme leader Xi Jinping joined all 25 members of the ruling Politburo in taking a loyalty oath.
The oath is required for all new members of the CCP and the June 18 ceremony at the History Exhibition Hall in Beijing was heavily featured on state media. Prior to reciting the oath, Xi called on the leaders to adhere to party ideology, politics, and action with a “high degree of consistency.”
The oath calls on party members to strictly follow party decisions and guard party secrets. Party members vow in the oath to “fight for communism throughout my life, be ready at all times to sacrifice my all for the party and the people and never betray the party.”
FPI, Free Press International