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Recruiting Agents in Industry and Trade - Lifting the Veil on Early People's Republic of China Operational Work

Schoenhals, Michael LU (2012) In Modern Asian Studies 46. p.1345-1369
Abstract
This paper concerns the operational activities of the public security organs of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) during the immediate post-1949 period of regime consolidation. The main part of the paper is a case-study of a 1950 pilot scheme to recruit agents in critical sectors of industry and trade in the city of Yingkou in Northeast China, a scheme in due course subsumed under a nationwide programme with a similar focus. In the years to follow, the operational recruitment of agents would become one of the PRC’s arguably most important operational responses to the twin Cold War threats of economic espionage and—above all—sabotage. The paper’s findings suggest, with respect to operational activities, that in order to represent and... (More)
This paper concerns the operational activities of the public security organs of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) during the immediate post-1949 period of regime consolidation. The main part of the paper is a case-study of a 1950 pilot scheme to recruit agents in critical sectors of industry and trade in the city of Yingkou in Northeast China, a scheme in due course subsumed under a nationwide programme with a similar focus. In the years to follow, the operational recruitment of agents would become one of the PRC’s arguably most important operational responses to the twin Cold War threats of economic espionage and—above all—sabotage. The paper’s findings suggest, with respect to operational activities, that in order to represent and explain more fully, in Leopold von Ranke’s words, ‘how things really were’, social and political historians may well want to shift their focus away from successive highly public Maoist ‘mass movements’ and look instead at what transpired out of the public eye in the interregnum of ordinary times that such movements punctuated. If and when they do, they will discover significant, yet hitherto largely unexplored, similarities between the work of the early PRC public security organs and their counterparts in the Soviet Union and other (former) socialist states. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
China, intelligence, counter-intelligence, communist party
in
Modern Asian Studies
volume
46
pages
1345 - 1369
publisher
Cambridge University Press
external identifiers
  • wos:000307168200010
  • scopus:84864362145
ISSN
0026-749X
DOI
10.1017/S0026749X11000734
project
Åsiktsregistrering och social kontroll i Kina – Vad arkiven har att berätta
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d5cde184-08cc-4a35-8c9c-d026d9a20cf7 (old id 1668071)
date added to LUP
2010-09-07 13:23:01
date last changed
2017-01-01 03:55:25
@article{d5cde184-08cc-4a35-8c9c-d026d9a20cf7,
  abstract     = {This paper concerns the operational activities of the public security organs of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) during the immediate post-1949 period of regime consolidation. The main part of the paper is a case-study of a 1950 pilot scheme to recruit agents in critical sectors of industry and trade in the city of Yingkou in Northeast China, a scheme in due course subsumed under a nationwide programme with a similar focus. In the years to follow, the operational recruitment of agents would become one of the PRC’s arguably most important operational responses to the twin Cold War threats of economic espionage and—above all—sabotage. The paper’s findings suggest, with respect to operational activities, that in order to represent and explain more fully, in Leopold von Ranke’s words, ‘how things really were’, social and political historians may well want to shift their focus away from successive highly public Maoist ‘mass movements’ and look instead at what transpired out of the public eye in the interregnum of ordinary times that such movements punctuated. If and when they do, they will discover significant, yet hitherto largely unexplored, similarities between the work of the early PRC public security organs and their counterparts in the Soviet Union and other (former) socialist states.},
  author       = {Schoenhals, Michael},
  issn         = {0026-749X},
  keyword      = {China,intelligence,counter-intelligence,communist party},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {1345--1369},
  publisher    = {Cambridge University Press},
  series       = {Modern Asian Studies},
  title        = {Recruiting Agents in Industry and Trade - Lifting the Veil on Early People's Republic of China Operational Work},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0026749X11000734},
  volume       = {46},
  year         = {2012},
}