Canadian reporter says Chinese news agency asked him to spy

A longtime Canadian journalist says he resigned his post at China’s state-run news agency after he was asked to use his press-pass privileges to spy on a prominent Tibetan separatist leader. Mark Bourrie, an Ottawa-based reporter and author of several books, told The Canadian Press news agency that he was first approached by Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua in 2009. The veteran journalist was allegedly told by Xinhua officials that the agency planned to expand its news coverage of Canada and wished to compete with other international news services active in North America. Bourrie said that, upon joining Xinhua, he began to cover “routine political subjects”; gradually, however, his superiors started making “some unusual requests”. In one characteristic case, he was asked to report on the identities and contact information of political activists who had participated in legal protests against the visit to Canada of Chinese President Hu Jintao in 2010. Bourrie says he rebuffed such requests, because they did not seem to him to have journalistic value. In April of this year, Xinhua’s bureau chief in Ottawa, Dacheng Zhang, allegedly asked Bourrie to attend a keynote speech by the 14th Dalai Lama at the Sixth World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet, which was held at the Ottawa Conference Center. Based in India, the Dalai Lama is the most prominent international figure of the movement for the independence of the Tibet Autonomous Region, which has been ruled by the People’s Republic of China since 1951. Read more of this post

CIA veteran reveals agency’s operations in Tibet

Gyalo Thondup

Gyalo Thondup

A former CIA officer, who supervised the Agency’s covert operations in the Chinese region of Tibet, says he is working on a new book on the subject. John Kenneth Klaus, who, while stationed in India in the 1960s, directed the CIA’s support of Tibetan independence paramilitaries, has given a rare interview to Canadian newspaper The Toronto Star. In it, he admits that the CIA supplied weapons to Tibetan monks, who are widely known for their non-violent philosophy. According to 85-year-old Klaus, the origins of the CIA’s covert assistance to Tibetan monks date back to at least 1957, when Gyalo Thondup, older brother of the 14th (and current) Dalai Lama, sent the CIA five Tibetan recruits, whom the Agency trained in paramilitary tactics on the island of Saipan, in the Northern Marianas. Shortly afterwards the five men were covertly returned to Tibet “to assess and organize the resistance”. In the process, they recruited another 300 Tibetans who were secretly transported to Colorado and trained by Klaus and other US intelligence and military officers. Read more of this post

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