XIX.

         Billy Shun’s Chinese interrogator, Gao-Ting-Ren, learned of Billy’s return to China. The “cargo” had arrived in good condition. The interrogator’s team of MSS agents, in New York and other American cities, could now plan against the feared agent Van.

         Assassinating Van was considered, years ago, by Triad gangs, when they were first infiltrated by the MSS. Now, because of all the intelligence data in Van’s conscious and subconscious brain—accessible by certain extraction methods—Liang, the MSS. Deputy Minister of Operations in Beijing had decided that he was much more valuable alive than dead.

         A kidnapping and transport to China would be ideal, if he could be lured back to Chinatown, near the Oriental Rug Emporium on Mott Street—useful for human trafficking. There, the perfect vehicle could be found for his delivery to the Motherland—a rug much larger than Billy Shun’s 7’ by 9’ Ningxia.  He hated to admit it, but the clever idea had come from Minister Li-Jian-Shui and his weak-kneed lot at the Ministry of Science and Technology; they claimed the source was an American Charlie Chan movie—of all things!

                       

         The aforementioned Deputy Minister Li, a fifty-five-year-old bachelor, sat in his cramped office in the dilapidated concrete building of the MSS’s Tenth Bureau—Science and Technology. He thought, modern Beijing is springing up with new construction all around us, but our Bureau has been neglected—not just the buildings, but our work as well.

         Li’s work was a new plan called Operation Spotlight that would focus a spymaster’s lens on the American enemy. It had a unique two-fold purpose: espionage and propaganda.

 

But it had been a tough sell to superiors in the Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, the CPC. His propaganda films produced in the 1980’s on behalf of the People’s Liberation Army won praise from Party bigwigs for their use of dramatic cinematic techniques—especially close-up, angled shots of the modern Chinese warrior with his “bold and resolute visage”. Li was a student of propaganda documentaries, including those of legendary Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. But it was Li’s reliance on such “foreign influences”, as charged by envious bureaucrats in the Operations Ministry, that led to the Standing Committee’s foot dragging on the approval of Operation Spotlight. In his last-year’s report to the Standing Committee, Li assured them that, at last, plans had been completed to infiltrate American media and entertainment centers with Chinese “visitors” and Chinese-American software technicians and engineers—all of whom were operatives. They would spy and report on Western cinematic technology. At the same time, fellow operatives would plan to use spy lenses embedded in critical locations to scan the enemy. Such lenses would also be placed in computers, TV sets and automobiles. The net result in espionage would be information about the readiness and number of the enemy, both ordinary citizens and officials; one could even eavesdrop on important conversations. And face-recognition would allow identification of individuals and hacking into vital data.                                                       

         The propaganda spearhead, on the other hand, would counter Western-imposed standards of physical beauty and strength, in face and body, which have erroneously persisted for centuries, and replace them with the naturally superior images of Chinese and Asian people. This cultural offensive had its counterpart in the spectacular showing of Chinese athletes and performers in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and its musicians, film actors, acrobats and dancers the world over.

         Agents have now been placed in major American cities to relay our instructions, run operations and report on new developments.

 

It is imperative that communications be restricted to approved operations so as to minimize opportunities for the enemy’s counterintelligence efforts to intercept them.

According to CPC supervisors, the recent unauthorized assassination of a Chinese-American woman by one of our free-lance operatives was a mistake that brought increased attention from the enemy and is not to be repeated.