FOREIGN OPERATIONS OF CHINESE COMMUNIST NEWS AGENCY
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
OFFICE OF CURRENT INTELLIGENCE
CONTAINS INFORMATIONTHE KATTOSAl^EFENSE OF THF IfNITED STATES WITHIN THEESPIONAGE LAWS,SC,HEOR REVELATION OF WHICH IN ANYTBMMalEB. TO AN UNAUTHORIZED PERSON IS PROHIBITED BY
FOREIGN OPERATIONS OF CHINESE COMMUNIST NEWS AGENCY
Peiping's propaganda arm, the New China News Agency eaches to every corner of the globe, advertising Communist China'scloaking its shortcomings. andthe militant course in the world-widestruggle with the Soviet Union. Oftenas the "eyes and ears" of tbe ChineseParty, NCNA serves as Peiping's primary overseas collector of overt Intelligence. InKCNA men are often called upon to perform quasi-diplomatic duties and to undertake espionage activities.
For the Chinese Communists, diplomaticallyln many countries, especially in Latinand Africa, the agency provides Peiping's only official point of contact. More than once NCNAhave proveo valuable stepplngstones to the establishment of broader diplomatic and economic relations.
NCNA isews service in the generally accepted sense. It Is not anorganization collecting news, processing it, and passing It along to subscribers; like other bloc news organizations lt isolitical tool of the government and party. As Peiping's party propagandist Liu Ting-yl said7 on NCNA'snniversary, "NCNA, like the party, the government, the army, and theeapon of class struggle." In Liu's words, the NCNA reporter must understand politics and always be ready to considerwhat to rush and what to repress, what to take and what to leave."
NCNA began as RCNA, the Red China News Agency, In
mall propaganda outlet that fed material to the local press ln areas of the mainlandby the Communists at that time. 7 and theto Join with the Kuomintangnited front against the Japanese, tbe party played down its Communist label, and the name was changed from "Red" torowth was slow but steady. In theCNA beganbroadcasts ln English, and before the end of Worldt had started dally Morseoverseas, putting heavy emphasis on the Communist waragainstcommon enemy of the English-speaking world.
NCNA opened its firstoffice in Praguefter the Communists gained full control over the Chinesethe following year, the
operations abroadrapidly. Posts were soon opened ln nonbloc cspltals such ss Djakarta, Rangoon, andDelhi. By3 lt hadthandditional offices, staffed by aorenationals as well ss by locslly hired stringers.
Proa the beginning thehave been plagued withdifficulties. It has often been extreaely difficult to locate politically reliable aien with journalistic skill and foreign language competence. NCNA hae set up schools of jour-nallsa at several universities, but their emphasis appears to be on political orthodoxy, with Journalistic facilityack seat. The course of studyeavy dose oftheorylx-month stintewspaper desk. Political reliability lsinstilled by partyee sessions ln the various governmental offices to which future NCNA correspondents sre assigned after graduation.
To cope with the flood of Incoming material, NCNA'oheadquarters hasmployees. Approximatelyercent of all home office staffers are said to bo members of the party, and the agency ls saturated with party personnel st the higher levels. Keyls probably conducted by Wu Leng-bsl, NCNA director and editor-in-chief of People's Daily. Over-all party supervl-sion of NCNA affairs is prob-sbly In the hands of two members
of the polltburo: propaganda department chief Liu Tlng-yi, and Chen Po-ta, Liu'a deputy and editor of the party
At NCNA headquarters, party members sit on the editorial board of the Foreign Newsoverseeing selection and retransmissionundred thousanday from their own correapondents abroad and foreign radiobroadcasts. Above the Foreign News Departmententralommittee which directs ovsr-all policy and maintains clone liaison with party and government propaganda organs. Becauae much of the incoming material la useful to the foreign trade and foreign affairs ministries, of these orgsnlzstlons probably work closely with tbe editorial committee.
While NCNA's avowedls the collection of news and the dissemination of Peiping's party line, agencyhave frequently figured in some of Communist China's most notable diplomatic successes. NCNA's usefulness abroad and its close ties with tbe Foreignare strikingly illustrated ln the career of Tseng Tao, Peiping's present ambassador to Algeria andey figure lnrecent agreement todiplomatic relations with the Chinese.
rotege of Foreign Minister Chen Yl and fast riser
ln Peiping's diplomatic ranks, went overseas first as an NCNA correspondent in Cuba and earned high narks for bis work there. It was Tseng who handled all of China's early relations with the Castro regime. As chief of the Havana NCNA office, lt waa he who conducted the negotiations leading to recognition, and it was he who signed the Jointannouncing the agreement to establish diplomatic Tseng also, in the fallosted China's National Day reception in Havana andall the functions of son-tor Pelplng representative until the arrivalhargesome three months after diplomatic relations were
In Mexico, which denies that it will recognizeChina at this time but Is moving toward closer contacts with Peiping, NCNA Isthe drive for permanent rep-reeentatlon. The temporary visas granted sgency representatives who arrived last summer torade fair now have beenand the government is permitting them unlimited travel to and from Mexico. Not only will China's propagandabe stepped up inCentral America, but aNCNA office In Mexico City is probable.
In Canada, where closer contacts with Peiping are also being discussed, the Chinese have proposed the establishment of an NCNAopening wedge in the long effort to gain
more formal representation. In Italy and West Germany they are seeking acceptance ofCommunist press One of Peiping's main objectives there may be tonew points of contact with European Communist parties.
Sino-Soviet Dispute and NCNA
Pelplng has Increasingly employed NCNA to wage tbestruggle with the USSR.
During the summerhen the Sino-Soviet dispute erupted into the open, tbe NCNA apparatus was used toinflammatorypropaganda in bloc By late August the Czechs bad clamped down,the Pragueoldest in Eastern Europeajor center of operations. NCNA men were expelled, and China's leases on telegraph lines linking peiping, Prague, and Havana were terminated. Prague hadajor relay point for propaganda directed to Africa and Latin America, and tbe work of the Praguewas hurriedly transferred to Geneva and London.
Anotber function of NCNA officials bas been to contact and assist pro-Chinese splinter groups In orthodox pro-Soviet Communist parties around the world.
In Belgium, for example, the NCNA office was established with the aid of local Communist leader Jacques Grlppa. Orippa
was later shorn of bis party office, but hie pro-Pelpingmaintain close contact wltb NCNA and reportedly receive) <Chinese financial support.
ceived on the
Parts NCNA chief
conouct Of thecampaign in Western Rurope. Peiping ordered him toon locating Frenchmen, Soviets, and Germans whowith Moscow. InCNA In Parisocal printing firm to reprint and distribute key People's Dally attacks on the Soviet"Union.
The NCNA office ia Italy, staffed by Italian Communists, reportedly has been able to dodge supervision and control by pro-Soviet elements in the Italian party. Itally bulletin purveying anti-Moscow venom and has arranged publicationro-Pelplng propaganda magazine. Clna d'Oggi, on printing equipment rinanced by the Chinese Embassy in Bern.
Espionage is not one of NCNA's primary functions, and tbe scope of the agency'soutside of Asia appears too limited toajor espionage capability. Mostare staffed by only one or two sen, who have their hands full collecting Information and disseminating propaganda. covert operations Ifmight jeopardize NCNA's
status with tbe host governments and may therefore be considered not worth the risk at this time. As NCNA'-' foreign operations sre enlarged, the Chinese willbe increasingly tempted to employ Journalistic cover for clandestine operations.
All NCNA offices probably conduct some undercover activity, however. In Latin America and Western Europe they reportedly finance the activities ofpro-Pelping factions incommunist parties and foot the bill for printing presses to publicize China's position in the Sino-Soviet dispute. Many NCSA offices apparently handle larger sums of money than needed for dally Journalistic expenses and in some places they employ larger staffs than would appear warrantedormal processing function. In Hong Kong, for example, NCNA has upwardsersonnel.
In Prance, NCNA officials are In liaison withof tbe clandestine Spanish Communist Party and smuggleChinese propaganda material Into Spain, They reportedly havo also tried on severalto obtain details of western military maneuvers in Europe. In Rio de Janeiro, the NCNA office is reportedlyand advising tbe clandestine activities of the Slno-Brazlllan Cultural Society.
Some Individual NCNAare reputed to be managers of extensive espionage networks, but the evidence is
reportedly trying toNational Assembly deputies in sightseeing trips to China.
travels widely and hasvisited Uganda, Kenya, and Burundi. He appears to have had contact with Zanzibar's new pro-Comraunist leaders, and one of his frequent trips to the island coincided with the recent coup.
Other NCNA Activities
NCNA correspondents are more active and personable than many of Peiping's rather wooden diplomats and are able to move about more freely. They join local leftist organizations and frequently appear as lecturers, talking up China's achievements to Overseas Chinese, as well as local student and cultural groups They frequently recruitfor the Foreign Language Press in Peiping andsucceed in persuadingskilled Chinese toto the mainland from the free world.
Every day Peiping sendsile of material either by commercial cable ornewscasts. In most countries where there are NCKA offices, this material is then written upaily bulletin and circulated to localand diplomatic represents tlves. These handouts provide selective coverage of Asian events and developments in thePeiping'sand heaping abuse on the US and its allies and on Soviet revisionism.
The daily bulletin has on occasion even gone so far as to take potshots at the host Duringith Indonesia over the treatment of Overseas Chinese, the publication frequentlylocal Indonesian author lties. In India the NCNA pub llcatlons began0 and finally grew so inflammatory that3 New Delhi forced their
representatives serve as Peiping's prime travelabroad, signing upyoung leaders for expense-paid tours of China and tapping left-wing students for study In France. NCKA officers
It seems likely, however that there will be fewer such displays of international bad
manners by NCNA ln the months ahead.
Pelplng haa apparently embarkedew politicaldeelgned to buildCommunist prestige abroad and toroader base for the continuing conflict with tbe Soviet Union. isplay of greater flexibility ln dealing with the non-Communist world-except for thes return to something like the "Bandung spirit"S may be ln
Although Polplng'a east wind will continue to lash at
Washington with unabated force, it seeaa likely to blow aore gentlyine ln other Tbe maneuvers leading up to French recognition appear to be part of thlashift in the political weathor, calculated to enlarge the Chinese presence in the free world and thus tothe growth ofpower in Peiping. NCNA, as the cutting edge of Chlnose efforts to enlarge represcnta-tlon by infiltration andcan be expected to keep psce with Peiping's new forward policy. |