The United Front Work Department: “Magic Weapon” at Home and Abroad

July 10, 2017 By Marcel Angliviel de la Beaumelle, The Jamestown Foundation

Earlier this year, the Sydney Morning Herald and ABC Four Corners released in-depth investigative reports on the influence of Chinese Communist Party agents in Australian politics (ABC, June 4; Power and InfluenceSydney Morning Herald, March 3). These reports are based on a longstanding investigation by the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), Australia’s counterintelligence agency, into Chinese Communist Party (CCP) efforts to exert influence in Australian politics. While the CCP employs many means for ‘soft-power’ influence, an important but understudied organization involved in sub-official contacts at home and abroad is the United Front Work Department (UFWD). In addition to exerting influence abroad, the UFWD has broad responsibilities for policies within China. Further highlighting the central role of the UFWD in CCP thinking, Chinese President and CCP Party Secretary Xi Jinping has repeatedly emphasized the importance of the UFWD to China’s rejuvenation.[Source]

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