Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The former Chinese spy Li Fengzhi, who has been in exile for years, is denouncing efforts underway by the Chinese secret service to suppress any form of dissent among the Chinese population, even abroad, and is calling on Western politicians to ask Beijing to respect human rights. Until now, no Chinese spy had ever publicly revealed himself.
Yesterday evening in Washington, a nervous Li said at a press conference that he worked for years for the Chinese state security ministry, but that he left this because his "work" was to spy on dissidents, spiritual groups, any citizen who protested over injustice, unemployment, poor farmers deprived of their land. He also resigned as a member of the Chinese Communist Party when the spiritual movement Falun Gong, which is persecuted by Beijing, asked all members to tear up their cards.
Li said that "China's government not only uses lies and violence to suppress people seeking basic human rights, but also does all it can to hide the truth from the international community." This led to direct criticism of Western politicians, including Hillary Clinton, who in their relationship with Beijing focus only "on temporary economic and political benefits but keep silent on human rights issues."
Li is convinced that, in spite of rapid economic growth, the Chinese government is not stable, precisely because of the widespread violation and suppression of human rights. He is convinced that the communist government will be overthrown by the exasperated Chinese themselves, but calls on Western governments to do their part by urging Beijing to respect fundamental personal rights.
The former spy did not provide specific details about his work, which was conducted above all in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, fearing for the safety of his family, who live in China. He asked for political asylum, and clarified that only the central leaders know the full extent of the country's spy network. He insisted that extensive resources are being employed to monitor Chinese citizens and suppress their rights, even abroad.
In 2005, Chen Yonglin, a diplomat in Sydney, asked for asylum and said there were more than a thousand Chinese agents in Australia, who even kidnap and repatriate Chinese citizens who have fled abroad for political reasons.