To get directly to the point the United Front is the official Chinese governments propaganda arm. The United Front is very powerful, in nearly all countries and intentionally opaque to non-Chinese government officials.
The term ‘United Front’ can be confusing when it relates to China. 100+ years ago United Front referred to the alliance between China’s two ruling parties, the Kuomintang (KMT, now mostly in Taiwan) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP, now ruler of all Chinese territory except Taiwan). The two groups agreed to a limited partnership designed to keep foreign aggressors, like the Japanese out of China.
- Control anti-Chinese activists including those living outside of China
- Spread the CCP governments disinformation
The Financial Times acquired a copy of the United Front manual in 2017 which explains:
“…Enemy forces abroad do not want to see China rise and many of them see our country as a potential threat and rival…
…The United Front… is a big magic weapon which can rid us of 10,000 problems in order to seize victory…
…The unity of Chinese at home REQUIRES the unity of the sons and daughters of Chinese abroad…
…We should aim to work with those individuals and groups that are at a relatively high level, operate within the mainstream of society and have prospects for advancement…”
It’s full name is Central United Front Work Department (aka. UF, UFW, UFWD and CUFWD) and for 40 years the United Front had four bureau’s each with large budgets and direct connection to the Chinese Government, Politburo and Communist Party. By 2017 the United Front had expanded to nine.
It’s name is derived from the grouping of the nine legally allowed non-communist parties inside China being called the “United Front”.
In 2015 as President Xi was consolidating power and started discussing changes to Chinese law that would eliminate his term limits, the Chinese Communist Party slightly modified who the United Front was supposed to target:
- ‘Democratic parties’ 民主党派
- Personages without party affiliation
- Non-Party intellectuals
- Ethnic minorities
- Religious circles
- Personnel of non-public sectors of the economy
- New Social Strata
- Personnel in the overseas or returned
- Compatriots in Hong Kong and Macau
- Compatriots in Taiwan and their relatives in the PRC
- Overseas Chinese lived in foreign countries
- Other people being necessary to cooperate with
However, in 2019 now President for life Xi Jinping expanded this highly successful government department to 12 departments, shown on the right.
“…Xi Jinping’s speech and the enactment of the related party rule named CCP Trial Rules on the UFW immediately after this meeting has a great significance on recent development of the UF policy…
…the UFW has been placed as a kind of all-party operations, so that it should be executed enthusiastically by all CCP cadres and party organs besides the UFW department (UFWD)” SOURCE
- infiltrating foreign governments, universities and organizations with real spy’s
- ‘Friendship Associations’
- subtle but malicious advertising designed to affect public opinion on both anti and pro-China topics
- mobilizing ethnic Chinese for rally’s, political events, or against those organizations deemed by the CCP to be enemies of the state
- ‘Confucian Institutes’ at schools, colleges and universities
- scaring Chinese living abroad into keeping their anti-CCP positives private through threatening phone calls, texts and physical interventions
The United Front is truly a scary organization that is not completely dissimilar to American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that we all need to be aware of.
We have a companion article in which we provide a brief on each of the 9, now 12, UF bureaus you many want to read HERE.