Editor’s note for Monday, June 29, 2020

A note from today's editor of the SupChina Access newsletter.

Dear Access member,

We live in interesting times:

New Delhi has pulled a China move on China by banning all the major Chinese apps and internet services that were popular in India: See story #1 below for details.

Carrying a compass, a notebook, and cash money are apparently good evidence that you are a foreign spy, if you happen to be Australian right now, according to state-owned nationalist rag the Global Times which says that: “a Chinese law-enforcement agency…arrested agents who work for Australian security intelligence agencies.” The iron-clad evidence of their espionage activities, according to the Global Times’ “source,” is this:

The Australian spies caught red-handed also had a compass, a USB flash disk, a notebook, a mask, gloves, and a map of Shanghai. On the notebook, there was some English handwriting about addresses, which are relevant to their operations.

The report is part of a government campaign. Although the Global Times is not an official mouthpiece, it often signals Communist Party intentions. To confirm this, a Global Times reporter asked a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson at a briefing today about the report. He replied, “I am afraid that what is revealed by the Global Times this time is just the ‘tip of the iceberg.’”

This comes after the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) conducted an unprecedented raid of the house of a Labor Party politician, Shaoquett Moselmane, “searching for evidence to support allegations of a Chinese government plot unfolding on Australian soil.”

If you’re from Down Under (or Canada, Sweden, or the U.S. and several other countries), you should probably not wander around in China with a compass, invisible ink, X-ray spectacles, or any other obvious spy equipment.

The World Health Organization is sending a team to China to investigate the origins of the coronavirus, reports Reuters. Will they dare to say anything that would contradict the official narrative from Beijing?  

Want to chat about all of this? On July 8, join me and Sinica Podcast co-host Kaiser Kuo for a Zoom call-in show to recap how much China and its relationship with the world has changed in 2020.

Our word of the day is cyber sovereignty (网络主权 wǎngluò zhǔquán). See story #1.

—Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief