The ruling Chinese Communist Party is flooding the United States with its spies, according to exiled billionaire Guo Wengui, who is on Beijing's most-wanted list for a number of criminal charges.
Guo, who also goes by the name Miles Kwok, revealed a document to the National Press Club in Washington on Thursday that he said backed up his claim that China has stepped up its U.S.-based spying operations, sending dozens of new operatives from the state security police to work in the country.
"This document has been verified as genuine for us by government agencies in the U.S. and in other countries," Guo told journalists, adding: "The mere possession of this document is enough for an automatic prison sentence of three-to-five years."
Document No. 82, 2017 is on headed paper from the general office of China's cabinet, the State Council, and the National Committee on State Security, and is a response to earlier proposals from the ministry of state security.
"After researching the matter, we agree in principle to your proposal to send 27 officers of the People's State Security Police to the U.S., in addition to He Jianfeng," the document, which RFA was unable to verify independently, states.
The document is dated Apr. 27, 2017, marked Top Secret and copied to the general office of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, the standing committee of the National People' Congress, and the general office of the party's Central Military Commission.
Bank branches, diplomatic missions
Guo said the new spying operations use the Bank of China branches in New York city and Washington D.C., as well as Chinese diplomatic missions in the U.S., as a base.
"Since then, around 50 more people have been sent," he added.
Their brief is intelligence gathering, counterespionage, and the vetting of management personnel in the U.S. operations of state-owned corporations, Guo said.
They are also charged with actively supporting and cooperating with the Communist Party's "United Front" ideological work, diplomatic and military missions, and any other personnel-related business, he said.
"A lot of people think that [I] only have documents that date back to pre-2015, but I can tell you that I can get hold of top-level documents of the Chinese Communist Party at any time, whenever I want to," he said.
"This is a top secret level state document ... We have friends all over the world ... those who provide the documents are among the most senior people, including the current Politburo standing committee," he said. "My material is real. Otherwise, they wouldn't be afraid of it."
However, he declined to elaborate further on the source of the leak.
Repeated attempts to contact the Bank of China in New York regarding Guo's allegations were unsuccessful on Wednesday.
'A Mafia-like group'
Guo, who had an Interpol "red notice" issued for his arrest in April, hit out at what he called a small clique of corrupt "kleptocrats" running China.
"What they're doing is anti-humanity," he said. "The U.S. ought to do something instead of just talking to the Chinese kleptocracy, who are simply a mafia-like group."
Guo, who applied for political asylum in the U.S. earlier this month, said the threat from Chinese espionage is "100 or 1,000 times" greater than that posed by major terror attacks on U.S. soil.
"I would like all members of the Chinese Communist Party to wake up and say No to this ruling clique," he added.
The Associated Press has reported that Chinese prosecutors are investigating Guo "for at least 19 major criminal cases," which included allegedly bribing intelligence officials, kidnapping, fraud, and money laundering.
In August, AP revealed that Chinese authorities have requested a second Interpol warrant for Guo, on a claim that he raped a 28-year-old former personal assistant.
Reported by Ho Shan and Ma Lap-hak for RFA's Cantonese Service, and by Wang Yun and Han Jie for the Mandarin Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.