CHINA’s autocratic regime has revealed 10 crimes that could trigger a chilling “tea party” invitation with Xi Jinping.
While an invite for tea is usually a cause for happiness, for Chinese people the phrase has taken on a completely different meaning.
AFPThe phrase an ‘invitation to tea’ masks a far more grim reality[/caption]
China has armies of workers monitoring their citizens for potential threats
For years now, citizens of China have been using the phrase “invitation to tea” as a mild alternative to a more grim reality.
It is used to refer to the disappearances of Chinese officials or citizens being summoned for investigation – without risking incurring the wrath of the communist regime.
And the usage of the phrase has become so extensive that China’s Ministry of State Security used the slang to release a list of what they call “10 cups of tea”.
The list, posted on the ministry’s WeChat account on Tuesday, essentially describes the 10 offences that are subject to scrutiny by Xi’s communist regime.
Anyone who is found guilty of committing the offences on the list can be summoned for brutal interrogations – and even state-level investigations, it is understood.
The list includes “crimes” like endangering national security, illegally acquiring or holding state secrets and committing or assisting espionage.
The list also warns against refusing to cooperate in an espionage investigation, leaking state secrets related to counter-espionage and intelligence works and failing to take security precautions against spies, SCMP reports.
China’s ’10 cups of tea’
FOR the first time, Beijing’s top intelligence agency has laid out 10 conditions subject to scrutiny by its agencies.
These ‘offences’ are concerned with national security, state secrets and violating the country’s updated anti-espionage law – that could lead to questioning, known in slang as ‘an invitation to tea’.
Suspected crimes endangering national security
Committing or assisting espionage
Failing to take security precautions against spying
Violating permits for construction projects involving national security matters
Refusing to cooperate in espionage investigations
Illegally acquiring or holding state secrets
Illegally producing, selling or holding spy devices
Leaking state secrets
Violating official orders of leaving the country
Committing acts endangering national security other than espionage
This is the first time Beijing has come up with such a list against the country’s citizens.
The emphasis comes as authorities in mainland China and Hong Kong plug legal loopholes to tackle potential threats to national security, according to SCMP.
While sharing the list in the WeChat post, the Chinese ministry warned individuals and organisations against illegally producing, selling, holding or using spy devices such as wiretapping and interception gadgets.
It also highlighted the anti-espionage law regarding construction projects that are concerned with national security.
Even the foreigners found violating the anti-espionage law could be
ordered to leave the country within a specific period – and violating such decisions could lead to official summons.
For almost a decade, Beijing has been intensified attempts to crackdown on potential threats to its natural security – creating ever more sweeping laws to lock up potential spies or ‘treasonous’ individuals.
In 2014, Xi Jinping brought a sweeping counterespionage law into place, which followed with the National Security Law in 2015 – strengthening the surveillance on both its citizens and foreign nationals.
What has followed is frequent interrogations, paranoia among the population and China requesting its citizens to snitch on their friends and neighbours as part of a counter-espionage network.
Last week, China finally revealed that a British businessman who vanished six years ago was locked up inside one of its hellish prisons.
Ian Stones, aged roughly 70, was convicted of espionage in 2022 and sentenced to five years for allegedly “obtaining intelligence for overseas actors”.
Now, his distraught family believes he may not survive his sentence.
A state of paranoia has infested China
AlamyThe country has turned into a surveillance state with its citizens constantly fearing an ‘invitation to tea’[/caption]Leave a comment