Former Chinese Spy Exposes Decade of Espionage, Reveals Meetings with Dalai Lama in Dharamsala

By Tsering Choephel

Eric during his meeting with the Dalai Lama in 2016. Image: ABC

DHARAMSALA, 16 May: Eric, a seasoned former Chinese spy, revealed in an interview with ABC News published yesterday that he had visited Dharamsala and met with the Dalai Lama as part of his espionage task in 2016.

During his more than a decade as an agent for the Political Security Protection Bureau, or 1st Bureau – a secret unit of China’s Ministry of Public Security, he was reportedly involved in missions to surveil, abduct, and silence Beijing’s targets around the world, including Tibetans in exile.

Posing as a Chinese dissident, he got himself invited to a gathering of activists in Dharamsala, the home of the Tibetan government in exile and met with the Dalai Lama in 2016. Following his detailed report on the exiled government’s confidential future China policy, his handlers from Beijing then tasked him to work internationally, the report said.

Eric escaped to Australia last year and revealed his identity at the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) headquarters in Canberra. The 39-year-old has divulged information from “hundreds of secret documents, text and voice messages, and bank records that he’d gathered over the years,” says the report.

Eric’s espionage portfolio includes the hunting of Edwin Yin, a YouTuber who has been deeply critical of Chinese President Xi Jinping, as well as political cartoonist Wang Liming, also known as Rebel Pepper, and Hua Yong, an exiled Chinese artist and outspoken activist, among others. His detailed revelation, reportedly a first of its kind by a Chinese undercover agent, reveals the extensive reach and measures of the Chinese government’s espionage operation to surveil and silence its critics worldwide.

Eric in an undated photo. Image: ABC

Last month, Germany’s federal prosecutor’s office announced Jian Guo, a German citizen, as an “employee of a Chinese secret service” who had allegedly passed along information about parliamentary deliberations and decisions to Chinese intelligence in January. The Chinese undercover agent reportedly had close ties with Tibetan organisations, had led people to visit Dharamsala, and had met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Eric’s path to recruitment as a CCP undercover agent has now led him to where it began. He said that he was obsessed with Western democracy as a 22-year-old university student and had joined the US-founded China Social Democratic Party in 2007. That attracted the attention and visitation of intelligence officers from China’s Political Security Protection Bureau. He was detained, interrogated, and “forced to sign a document confessing to his ‘crime’ of opposing the Chinese government.” Faced with the option of facing jail time or working as an undercover agent for the Chinese intelligence bureaus, Eric began his CCP agent journey until his dissent last year. 

Eric called the CCP’s intelligence unit “the darkest department of the Chinese government,” and compared them to “the KGB, the Stasi, and the Gestapo,” the notorious intelligence units of the erstwhile Soviet Union, East Germany, and Nazi Germany respectively. 

Saying “The Communist Party shaped me into an enemy who is committed to the fight against it,” Eric acknowledged that he has become a target of his former boss. About his safety, he said “For all those who oppose the Chinese Communist Party and Xi Jinping, the day that we can feel truly safe is the day the CCP falls.”

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