Man turns to espionage after failed attempt to found his own ‘nation’

Photo: VCG

On the sixth anniversary of the implementation of China’s counter-espionage law, China’s national security departments have revealed the ridiculous case of a man who was recruited to spy for foreign intelligence agencies after his nonsensical attempt to found his own “party” and “nation,” reported Sunday.

The man, surnamed Zhang, had an ambitious, if not delusional, dream of establishing his own nation and becoming its president. 

In 2012, unable to find a proper job, he tried to start a business which failed miserably. “He still owes a liquor store over 30,000 yuan ($4,483),” a police officer at Zhengzhou, Central China’s Henan Province, was quoted as saying by  

Destitute, Zhang conjured up the idea of establishing a “utopian society” after learning about the political and electoral systems of Western countries through the internet, said the online news platform’s report.

In April 2018, Zhang, then employed, asked for leave from his job to travel overseas where he intended to implement his irrational plan. According to, Zhang sat in his hotel and drafted what he called “Guidelines for the founding of nation and party.” 

He hired a man he had met in a massage parlor, to record videos for him as he held a ceremony to officially announced the founding of his “party” and “nation” and named himself “president.” 

Knowing that he had broken the law, Zhang was afraid to return to China and sought “political asylum” twice from foreign governments but was refused. 

An unbelievably incompetent foreign intelligence agency began to recruit Zhang and offered him financial support for his “nation” if he provide classified files when he returned to China. 

Zhang accepted the offer and returned to China to find that his ludicrous, illegal plan had not been detected. 

He concocted a considerable amount of anti-government manuscripts which he called “the future of China” and subsequently recruited two “party members” who worked at a rented office in Zhengzhou. 

To maintain close contacts with the overseas intelligence agencies, Zhang registered several shell companies, and raised funds from abroad to expand his party’s influence. 

In April 2019, he was arrested by the national security department as he and his team were about to make contact with overseas spies. 

Zhang was sentenced to 13 years in prison and deprived of political rights for four years by the Intermediate People’s Court of Zhengzhou in August, for colluding with foreign espionage agencies and illegal organizing. 

An officer at the security department said as soon as someone accepts a mission from an overseas intelligence agency, they have committed espionage, regardless the mission is ever completed. 

Villages, urban communities, schools and government departments in China recently launched a program on how to guard against infiltration and influence of foreign anti-China forces to coincide with the sixth anniversary of the implementation of China’s counter-espionage law on Monday.

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