Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission Intelligence Bureau
中央军委联合参谋部情报局
China Emblem PLA.svg
Emblem of the PLA
Agency overview
FormedJanuary 2016
Preceding
  • PLA General Staff Department Intelligence Bureau ("2nd Bureau")
JurisdictionPeople's Liberation Army
HeadquartersDongcheng, Beijing
Annual budgetClassified
Parent departmentJoint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission

The Intelligence Bureau of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission (Chinese: 中央军委联合参谋部情报局), formerly the Intelligence Bureau of the General Staff or the 2nd Bureau, is the principal military intelligence department of the PLA. It is one of the three major employers of Chinese foreign operatives.[1]

History

The Chinese Communist Party established an Intelligence Bureau (later called the General Intelligence Department) under its Central Military Commission in 1931. In 1950, it became part of the PLA General Staff (until 1954 known as the "General Staff of the People's Revolutionary Military Committee"), and was referred to as "the 2nd Bureau" (the PLA adopted the numbering system of most continental European armies for staff bureaus).

During the rule of Mao Zedong, and especially under the leadership of General Liu Shaowen (Director of the Intelligence Bureau from 1954 to 1967), the 2nd Bureau was active in funding, arming and training dozens of Asian, African and Latin American militant groups and liberation movements; especially in the case of Africa, the Intelligence Bureau "supplied, at one time or another, nearly all of the various African liberation movements with arms, money, food and medicines".[2] Among those who received military training were Pol Pot (leader of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia) and Abimael Guzmán (leader of the Shining Path in Peru).[3]

General Liu Shaowen, Director of the Intelligence Bureau from 1954 to 1967, played a key role in providing military assistance to various national liberation movements across the world, including the FLN, Viet Cong, Pathet Lao and ANC.
General Liu Shaowen, Director of the Intelligence Bureau from 1954 to 1967, played a key role in providing military assistance to various national liberation movements across the world, including the FLN, Viet Cong, Pathet Lao and ANC.

From the early 1970s and until the end of the Cold War, beginning with the tactical alliance of Mao Zedong and U.S. President Richard Nixon to jointly oppose the Soviet Union, the 2nd Bureau unofficially collaborated with the American CIA in certain cases, most notably in Afghanistan, where Chinese intelligence (both civilian and military) played a central role in funding, arming and training Afghan guerrillas against the Soviets. From 1980 to 1984 the cost of Chinese support totaled approximately $400 million.[4] In a joint operation of the 2nd Bureau and the Ministry of State Security, Chinese assistance expanded to eventually include heavy machine guns, mortars, recoilless rifles, rocket launchers and anti-aircraft artillery.[4]

In January 2016, as part of the ongoing reform of national defense and the military, the Intelligence Bureau of the Chinese People's Liberation Army General Staff Department was abolished and the Intelligence Bureau of the Joint Staff of the Central Military Commission was established.[5][6]

Directors

References

  1. ^ Eftimiades, Nicholas (22 October 2020). "The 5 Faces Of Chinese Espionage: The World's First 'Digital Authoritarian State'". breakingdefense.com. Breaking Defense. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  2. ^ Gérald Arboit, "The Chinese intelligence services in Africa", in Handbook on China and Globalization, pp. 305-321, edited by Huiyao Wang and Lu Miao, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019
  3. ^ Maoism: A Global History – how China exported revolution around the world, South China Morning Post, 8 March 2019
  4. ^ a b Nicholas Eftimiades, Chinese Intelligence Operations, pp. 17, 99–102, Naval Institute Press/Frank Cass, Annapolis/London, 1994)
  5. ^ Mattis, Peter (December 5, 2016). "Modernizing Military Intelligence: Playing Catch-Up (Part One)". Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
  6. ^ Mattis, Peter; Kania, Elsa (December 21, 2016). "Modernizing Military Intelligence: Playing Catchup (Part Two)". Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 2020-09-12.