The non-story of CPC "infiltrating" foreign firms in China

2020-12-18 12:10:05

That the Communist Party of China (CPC) has nearly 92 million members who hail from all walks of life is no secret. So it came as a surprise when some British and Australian media outlets started crying wolf over the so-called "infiltration" of CPC members into multinational corporations and foreign consulates in China, citing an alleged database of 1.95 million Shanghai CPC members' personal information. The Daily Mail and The Telegraph in Britain, and Sky News Australia and The Australian have recently released what they regarded as bombshell revelations. These are, in truth, a non-story. Coincidentally or not, their dump took place around the same time. While the authenticity of the database is still unconfirmed, the fact that CPC members work for multinationals is no secret. There are widespread Chinese media reports, including from this newswire service, of CPC branches in multinational companies. In many instances, Chinese citizens join the CPC in college and then go on to find a job, or join the CPC in one job and move on to another. There is nothing unusual behind these everyday occurrences. Besides, given the high proportion of CPC members to the Chinese population (about 6.6 percent), unless multinationals and foreign missions in China deliberately exclude CPC members, it is only natural that their employees include CPC members. For foreign missions that employ Chinese staff, would anyone really be so naive as to think their intelligence agencies were oblivious of who they have employed? The use of the word "infiltration" by these British and Australian media outlets is also unprofessional and reflects their lack of knowledge of China, if not bias or ill will. In China, being a Communist Party member is a badge of honor, with requirements in their conduct usually higher than ordinary citizens. The implication of the reports that CPC members would somehow harm their foreign employers is inconsistent with the reality. In addition, the database appears to include the name, gender, ethnicity, ID number, and branch names of the CPC members. In some cases, addresses and even phone numbers are allegedly included. Suppose this happened in the UK or Australia, and nearly 2 million residents' personal details were circulating online in a downloadable database. The reports from the four media outlets -- and others -- would surely focus on the massive breach of personal privacy. But when it's China and the "communists", those media who claim to be on the moral high ground choose to turn a blind eye to the privacy issue. Instead, they resort to stigmatizing and demonizing.