On August 7, 2008 Rahul Gandhi, General Secretary of the Indian National Congress (INC) and Wang Jiarui, Director, International Liaison Department of the C Communist Party of China (CPC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the presence of the President of INC Sonia Gandhi who was also the Chairperson of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) I at that time, President of China, Xi Jinping who was then the Vice-President of China and Congress leader Anand Sharma.
But is the International Liaison Department of CPC only a China foreign policy influencer or is it a covert intelligence agency of China. GoaChronicle.com investigates
Here is a candid view of the International Liaison Department of CPC intelligence role which was provided in the Czech Intelligence Service BIS’s 2015 Annual Report -a copy of which is in possession of GoaChronicle.com:
“In 2015, the dominant Chinese intelligence force in the Czech Republic was military intelligence, whose activities supplemented the efforts of a specific Chinese intelligence organisation, the International Liaison Department of the Chinese Communist Party. This is an agency under the Central Committee of the CCP, whose remit includes, besides foreign relations, intelligence activities.”
CCP’s International Department is an important and yet often overlooked unit of the China’s power and influence under the CPC. While the department was positioned for diplomacy with other foreign communist parties, the ILD-CPC has reshaped itself over the past 20 years as a flexible and alternative channel to traditional state-to-state diplomacy with other foreign parties globally not only communist parties. The department’s core objective is to use party-to-party contacts to help safeguard the country’s interests and facilitate state-to-state relations.”
In a report in 2016 by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission – Chapter 2 ‘US – China Security Relations there is a brief attention drawn on International Liaison Department:
“Before the dissolution of the four general departments of the PLA, International Liaison Department under the General Political Department of PLA was responsible for collecting foreign intelligence through networks of official and unofficial agents abroad. ILD agents used informal contacts with foreign actors to identify and investigate individuals and organisations to collect intelligence and expand China’s influence abroad.”
Five-years earlier in its 2011 report US-China Economic and Security Review Commission opined that the International Liaison Department conducts ints perception management operations in accordance with centrally determined (China Communist Party) propaganda messages.
Furthermore in 2009, the office of the Director of the National Intelligence identified the Chinese Liaison Office (International Liaison Department as a ‘major collector’ of intelligence against U.S. interests.
A Secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Document in possession of GoaChronicle.com titled ‘Intelligence Report – The International Liaison Department of the Chinese Communist Party’ released in 2007 by the US Government states: Organised geographically and working hand-in-hand with Chinese embassies in various countries, the ILD performed the task of finding, investigating and eventually supporting pro Chinese groups. ILD pursued a patient, soft-sell policy providing funds to keep the promising groups active and offering political and organisational training.CIA Report on ILD-CPC
ILD of the CPC was a relatively obscure and clandestine brand of the party but today in its present status as an open, active participant in the implementation of Chinese foreign policy.
The Secret CIA Report shockingly reveals that ILD although a Party Department although a party department, was off status comparable to numerous branches of the State Council (Government). Its primary responsibility was to maintain contacts with friendly Communist Parties in Communist-ruled countries, and to find, nurture and develop pro-Chinese sentiment wherever it was found. In this capacity, it often worked hand-in-glove with overseas MFA personnel in the embassies. At the same time. it is clear from the available evidence that the MFA and ILD kept their functions carefully separated. ILD personnel were of a “higher status” and better paid than were those of government bodies, because the ILD was a Party organisation.”
GoaChronicle.com is in possession of a Wikileaks document from the ‘The Global Intelligence Files’ that contains Stratfor Global Intelligence email of an ‘Intel-Services China Report of 2010’ documented as 133464 Intel Services China, that report states:Startfor China Files
Two organisations have historically been involved in covert action, a strategy that China has come to avoid. One is the International Liaison Department, which is controlled by the PLA’s General Political Department. Responsible for establishing and maintaining liaison with communist groups worldwide, the liaison department used such links to foment rebellions and arm communist factions around the world during the Cold War. More recently it has used this network for spying rather than covert action.
When Sonia Gandhi met with Wang Jiarui, Director of the International Liaison Department of CPC on 28/11/2007 during his visit to New Delhi:
During that meeting according ILD-CPC records: Sonia Gandhi told Wang Jiarui that after coming back from China she briefed her party on her visit and the developments and changes China has undergone. She affirmed that the Indian National Congress will continue its efforts to further promote the development of relations between the two countries through its friendly ties with the CPC. The two sides should look to the future and intensify their efforts to increase exchanges between the youth of the two countries, and enhance mutual understanding between the two peoples, she said. She expressed her belief that the friendship between India and China will become a positive factor for peace and prosperity of this region and the world at large.
On his part, Wang Jiarui said that the successful visit by President Gandhi has unfolded a new chapter for relations between the two parties and two countries. We will go all out to implement the agreement reached by the leaders of the two sides, strengthen party-to-party exchanges, and inject new dynamism to the development of China-India strategic cooperative partnership, Wang said.
On August 7, 2008 Indian National Congress signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Communist Party of China. To quote Wang Jiarui own words, “We will go all out to implement the agreement reached by the leaders of two sides, strengthen party-to-party exchanges and inject a new dynamism to development of China-india strategic cooperative partnership.”