The Five Eyes are now fixed on China again

Global Times
Wang Xinjuan
2022-06-18 23:13:58

By Xin Ping

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The Five Eyes are fixed on China again. It is learned recently that the alliance has decided to collect and fabricate evidence that could show China is infiltrating politically into Western countries, with the aim of tarnishing China's image in the world.

This is not the first time that the Five Eyes have conspired to target China and other countries. As an alliance designed for intelligence sharing, it has been conducting covert or overt operations like theft, interference, infiltration, subversion and coercion.

Under the auspices of the US, the Five Eyes have created the "Clean Network," an irony to its "dirty schemes." The US National Security Agency (NSA) devised Dirtbox, a wiretapping program, to steal data from phones by impersonating signals of base stations. At least 62.5 million phones have fallen prey as a result. PRISM, another infamous NSA program, harvested huge reserves of data from social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Skype. The UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the NSA have also reached their hands into the Cloud, where servers of Google and Yahoo were compromised and hundreds of millions of personal information records were raked in. The Five Eyes have not spared game apps that are vulnerable to intelligence operations either. Irritant Horn, jointly initiated by the NSA and the intelligence authorities of other Eyes, has turned apps for fun to vaults of personal data.

Knowingly violating basic norms in the virtual and the real world, the Five Eyes have been going out of their way to undermine the growth of certain foreign companies. In the name of protecting national security, the US has been tightening its grip on the export of chips and other high technologies to China. It also abetted Canada to detain the CFO of Huawei, a leading Chinese provider of smart devices in ICT, for about three years for no legitimate reasons at all. The Five Eyes also arbitrarily add foreign competitors onto the blacklists of technological blockade and exclusion. Indeed, all the five countries have decided to ban China's Huawei and ZTE from their 5G networks.

And the Five Eyes alliance is not so much as an intelligence-sharing group as an anti-China club. The alliance has been obsessed with making up cases of China's "espionage" and "infiltration" merely based on shoddy intelligence. In 2020, Australian spy authorities raided New South Wales state legislator Shaoquett Moselmane's home for alleged links with China. But the cited political influence in Australia on behalf of China was never proven by evidence. Intelligence agencies in other Eyes willfully interrogate and harass Chinese students and scholars on questionable or no grounds at all. Some even approach Chinese communities and pressure them to become agents for the Eyes. Although the Eyes are not so sharp at telling the truth from falsehood, they are adept at meddling in the internal affairs of China, among other countries in the world. In Hong Kong, the consulates of these countries have become the headquarters and command of interference and subversion where their consular officials reached out to anti-China forces and separatists to incite violence by providing financial support and training.

Apart from taking relatively secret means to achieve its political agenda, the Five Eyes also resort to brutal and bloody wars to overthrow regimes of other countries, showing no respect to international law, sovereignty and human life. Take the 20-year-long war in Afghanistan as an example, where hardly any participating country pulled out with their hands untainted with blood. Back in 2019, 11 British detectives told an investigation team from the BBC and Sunday Times that there was credible evidence of war crimes and ensuing cover-ups in Afghanistan. In 2020, Australia released the Brereton Report on its troops' misconduct in Afghanistan. It found evidence linking 25 Australian Defence Force personnel in the killings of 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners of war. Scandals like this are nothing new. In 2009, Australian troops were shown in some photos drinking beer out of an Afghan's prosthetic leg in Uruzgan province. Before the hasty withdrawal, the US killed 10 civilians including two-year-olds in a drone strike, only to find the target were civilians like so many times before.

Turning their eyes and dirty hands to other countries, the five countries have shown no interest in getting their own house in order. Most of the countries have not addressed their dark legacy of mistreating indigenous population by slaughter, expulsion and forced assimilation. They are yet to pay the historical debt and make compensations as the indigenous communities are deprived of the right to life and other basic rights on economic, cultural and political fronts.

The script for the Five Eyes' underhand moves may keep changing, but the end result would remain the same. The scheme to discredit and disrupt the development of other countries would only be met with disdain, and eventually lead to outright failure.

Xin Ping is a commentator on international affairs. He can be reached at

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