Inside China’s vast influence network – how it works, and its reach in Australia (The Conversation, 4 min read)
Garry Groot, a Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Adelaide, outlines the little-known Chinese United Front Work Department within the Communist Party, designed to reach out to and influence ethnic Chinese abroad. It is aimed at promoting the party’s ideals abroad and attracting intellectuals, minorities, and religious groups. Unsurprisingly, Jinping has favoured the expansion of the Department as he consolidates his power and reinforces his claims over Taiwan, Macau, and Hong Kong. Hong Kong, however, might be proving ineffective given the events of this month.
Why does this matter? In yet another stealth power grab, Beijing is reinforcing the work of a secretive influence arm that formally promotes itself as a world trade facilitator. But Hong Kong observers have seen none of that
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