Freelance journalist and author Mark Bourrie
DHARAMSHALA, August 23: In a shocking revelation, a Canadian journalist has accused China’s official news agency, Xinhua of instigating him to spy on the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Freelance journalist and author Mark Bourrie said he quit his job after Xinhua wanted him to spy on the Dalai Lama during one of his visits to Ottawa.
Bourrie has made the allegation in an article to be published on Thursday in Ottawa Magazine, and in an interview with The Canadian Press.
Although the Ottawa bureau chief of Xinhua news agency has dismissed the claims, Bourrie’s revelations have once again brought to light concerns over the role of overseas Chinese reporters and news bureaus.
Long-standing accusations of information gathering and spying against Chinese journalists were hotly debated last year after the then Toronto correspondent for Xinhua was found to be having an “unprofessional” relationship with a Canadian M.P.
Attesting to the spy allegations against Chinese overseas reporters, a former Chinese diplomat with 14 years of service in the Chinese foreign ministry told the Epoch Times last year that Chinese reporters indeed play multiple roles.
Chen Yonglin, who was working as Consul for Political Affairs at the Consulate-General in Sydney, before defecting on May 26, 2005, noted that Chinese reporters use their profession as a shield to pursue political missions.
“In addition, they play the role of a spy because Xinhua is actually an outreach organ of Chinese Communist Party’s intelligence agencies. The nature of their work means they must use all means to infiltrate and obtain intelligence.”
Chen added that the reporters’ services are in such demand, they may have as many as three CCP officials as bosses.
“As part of an intelligence network, Xinhua reporters are often under two different bosses, maybe even three different bosses, mainly CCP officials,” Chen told the Epoch Times.
“If they were sent by the Ministry of State Security, then they report to the MSS, if they were sent by People’s Liberation Army General Staff Department, then they answer to the PLA General Staff Department; they all have secret missions. At the same time, they help the Consulate with political and propaganda work."