A leaked database of 2 million Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members revealed that thousands of Chinese communist members infiltrated U.S., U.K., and Australian government agencies and companies, new reports revealed over the weekend.
The database leak, originally reported by The Australian, revealed the identities of nearly 2 million CCP members, thousands of which were discovered to be employed by western businesses and government agencies, and 79,000 branches of the CCP.
The Australian described more than 7,000 CCP members identified in just seven major global companies.
- Volkswagen: 5,700
- Boeing: 287
- AstraZeneca: 54
- Pfizer: 69
- QualCom: 229
- Hewlett-Packard: 390
- HSBC: 345
Boeing and QualComm are just two companies identified with U.S. military contracts. Aerospace giant Boeing has billions of dollars worth of contracts with the U.S. military, while QualComm manufactures computer chips and other hardware for the U.S. Department of Defense’s IT systems and more.
AstraZeneca and Pfizer are two major pharmaceutical companies that have been involved in the COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine development.
Investigators cross-referenced the database with CCP members’ names on the list, discovering that some infiltrators even gained roles as senior political and government affairs specialists. CCP members used a recruitment agency to infiltrate U.S., British, and Australian consulates in Shanghai, China.
An intelligence officer told The Australian that CCP members working in governments “is a totally unacceptable security risk,” adding, “In some cases, they go beyond being a security risk, and actually do the bidding of China in attempting to influence governments overseas. The recent raids in Sydney are an example of this.”
The infiltration efforts reportedly spanned for more than a decade. Although investigators did not find evidence that the CCP members had spied for China, security experts warned that sensitive information could potentially reach China through the CCP members.
“Allowing members of the CCP to work for such companies risks their stealing technology, providing intelligence to China on forthcoming weapons systems and capabilities, or on force structures built around those capabilities,” one intelligence officer told The Australian.
Banks were also the targets of CCP infiltration efforts. The Daily Mail reported 600 CCP loyalists were working in across 19 branches of two British banks, HSBC and Standard Chartered in 2016.
The Daily Mail reported both British banks drew criticism for their response to the Chinese government’s legislative takeover of Hong Kong this Summer. Over the summer, HSBC reportedly issued a statement denouncing pro-Hong Kong protests against the Chinese government’s takeover, and recently froze the accounts of exiled Hong Kong lawmaker Ted Hui.
According to the Daily Mail, the database was initially leaked to the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) in September by a Chinese dissident. The database was then reportedly authenticated by the Australian cybersecurity firm Internet 2.0 and the findings from the data were originally released to four media organizations around the world, including the Daily Mail.
The IPAC is an international organization that monitors Chinese government activity, and to advise lawmakers on policies to counteract Chinese efforts.
The reports on the CCP member database come just days after a recent report by Axios revealed a Chinese national, named Christine Fang or Fang Fang, had gotten close to a number of U.S. politicians, including Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) who is a member of the House Intelligence Committee. Fang was under FBI surveillance and was suspected of being a member of China’s main civilian spy agency, the Ministry of State Security (MSS). It is believed that her reason for being in the U.S. was to gather political intelligence and influence rising U.S. officials on China-related issues.
Fang reportedly participated in fundraising events for various U.S. politicians, including Swalwell and reportedly gained access to politicians through networking, personal charisma and even romantic and sexual relations, as in the case of two Midwestern mayors she reportedly came in contact with.