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Wang Shujun (2010 - 2022)

Updated: Jun 18


The case of Shujun WANG is one of several that illustrate China's Ministry of State Security (MSS) using assets to collect information about individuals and groups viewed as potentially adverse to the interests of the PRC. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) refers to these entities as “the five Poisons” as they are perceived to present a threat to CCP absolute rule. They include the following:

·         ethnic Uyghur supporters of the East Turkestan independence movement;

·         Tibetan supporters of the Tibetan independence movement;

·         adherents of the Falun Gong;

·         members of the Chinese democracy movement;

·         and advocates for the Taiwan independence movement.

 

Shujun WANG is a 73-year-old naturalized American citizen of Chinese descent who maintains two residences, one in Flushing, Queens and another in Norwich, Connecticut.  Prior to 1994, Wang was aa associate professor at Qingdao College of Social Sciences in the PRC.  In 1994, Wang came to the United States as a visiting scholar for a two-year term at Columbia University in New York City.  In 1996, he was granted an EB-1 permanent worker visa for outstanding scholars. He was later granted lawful permanent resident status and became a naturalized American citizen in 2003.

 

In 2006, Wang co-founded an organization (Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang Memorial Foundation) located in Flushing, Queens, New York.  The nonprofit organization was dedicated to honoring former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) senior officials and reformers Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang. Several of the Foundation's Board of Directors were well-known pro-democracy dissidents who oppose the PRC government. Wang held leadership posts in the organization and beginning in 2020 served as the Secretary General of the Foundation. 

 

Wang operated as a HUMINT collection asset for China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS).  He is known to have been recruited in 2005, yet there seems to be some question as to what occurred when he returned on trips to China.  For example, in 2010, a pro-democracy organization in the US paid for WANG to go to China to have discussions with other democracy advocates.  WANG did not make his appointments and disappeared in China for a month. Upon his return, he gave no clear explanation as to why he was unable to complete his assignment.  He was fired from his job and fell under suspicion of being an agent for the PRC security apparatus.   Dissidents reported him to the FBI at that time.  

 

Four MSS intelligence officers from two regional offices handled Wang throughout his operational lifetime. The MSS intelligence officers are identified as follows:

 

  • Mr. Feng He, also known as "Boss He," is a PRC citizen and a Director with the Guangdong State Security Bureau ("GSSB"), a branch office of the MSS located in Guangdong, PRC.

  • Mr. Jie Ji is  a PRC citizen and a Section Chief with the Qingdao State Security Bureau ("QSSB"), a branch office of the MSS located in Qingdao, PRC.

  • Mr. Ming Li, also known as "Elder Tang" and "Little Li," is a PRC citizen employed by the GSSB.

  • Mr. Keqing Lu, also known as "Boss Lu," is a PRC citizen and a Division Chief with the QSSB.  

 

Shujun WANG allegedly used his position in the Memorial Foundation and within the Chinese diaspora community in the New York metropolitan area to collect information about Chinese dissidents, human rights leaders and democracy advocates in the United States and Hong Kong.  For more than a decade he passed information to the PRC government through his MSS handlers. 


Facts about WANG


WANG was not trusted by other dissident organizations. He was described as lazy and ineffective in his work. After decades in the US, his English was still so poor he was unable to engage with American policy makers. At one point, he owned a small novelty shop in Brooklyn. He was always in need in money. Money was a frequent discussion with MSS officers. When speaking to the Chinese press in 2000, he regretted settling in the United States.


There is also question as to WANG's scholarly credentials. There is no public record of him having received education beyond a bachelors' degree in China. He had two publications in China, one being his senior's thesis from  Shandong University, the "Pacific Sea and Air Battle" and a subsequent published work "The Battle of the Pacific Ocean ". His only US publication was a 1999 transcription of 145 interview tapes with a former Chinese General. "The Legend of Zhang Xueliang in the Century" was an oral history with interviews conducted by WANG's sponsor Dr. Tang Degang , a (former) professor of philosophy and historian at Columbia University.

 

Tradecraft


  • Approached by MSS officers at a dinner in Hong Kong arranged by a relative.

  • This is one (of two) cases where an MSS asset has been run by two provincial offices.

  • WANG had face-to-face meetings with MSS officials while on trips to the PRC.

    • The MSS paid for these trips.

  • WANG used commercial email to receive taskings from the MSS officers and to send and receive written messages and files.

  • Made phone calls to his MSS handlers in China.

  • Used a messaging app (NFI) to communicate with MSS handlers in China.

  • WANG documented the information he collected in draft email folders he listed as "diaries". The term “diaries” was designed to provide plausible deniability to anyone questioning why he was retaining and emailing information about his activities and people with whom he engaged.

  • The email diaries were accessed by MSS intelligence officers in China.

  • WANG also hand carried information from the US to China.

  • Had a notebook with handwritten notes including MSS officers' contact information, meeting instructions, and contact information of PRC officials at the PRC consulate.

  • The FBI search warrant revealed WANG had false identity documents and bank accounts.


Status Alleged. WANG goes to trial in New York City in July 2024.


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