Book Club | Spies & Lies

Spies & Lies: How China’s Greatest Covert Operations Fooled the World

Alex Joske

‘Spies and Lies’ by Alex Joske is a groundbreaking exposé of elite influence operations by China’s little-known Ministry of State Security. Revealing for the first time how the Chinese Communist Party has tasked its spies to deceive the world, it challenges the conventional account of China’s past, present and future.

Mere years ago, Western governments chose to cooperate with China in the hope that it would liberalise, setting aside concerns about human rights abuses, expansionism and espionage. But the axiom of China’s ‘peaceful rise’ has been fundamentally challenged by the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarian behaviour under Xi Jinping.

How did we get it wrong for so long?

Spies and Lies pierces the Ministry of State Security’s walls of secrecy and reveals how agents of the Chinese Communist Party have spent nearly 40 years manipulating Western leaders’ attitudes – from an Australian prime minister to the US Congress, prominent think tanks and the FBI – about China’s rise.

Through interviews with defectors and intelligence officers, classified Chinese intelligence documents and original investigations, the book unmasks dozens of associations, publishing houses, alumni associations, newspapers, Buddhist retreats, a record company and charities.

Spies and Lies is an extraordinary insight into the most successful influence operation in history, one which has fooled the West for years, and indispensable reading.

About the Author:

Alex Joske was the youngest-ever analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and is known for breaking open new fields of research through meticulous Chinese-language investigations grounded in authoritative and independently verifiable sources. His research in the hotly contested field of Chinese Communist Party influence and espionage efforts has withstood intense scrutiny and earned the respect and interest of governments and policymakers globally. He lives in Canberra, Australia.

Alex Joske