China

Authored by: Nicholas Eftimiades

Routledge Companion to Intelligence Studies

Print publication date:  August  2013
Online publication date:  September  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415507523
eBook ISBN: 9780203762721
Adobe ISBN: 9781134480296

10.4324/9780203762721.ch19

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Abstract

Chinese intelligence operations and methods are relatively new to the Western world. They are not, however, new in themselves. The practice of espionage in China dates back to at least the fifth century BC, when the proper employment of spies was detailed in a military manual, Sun Tzu's The Art of War. In what has become a classic work on the fundamentals of military tactics and strategy, Sun Tzu put a high value on accurate and timely intelligence in daily affairs of state and in support of military campaigns. He attributed a commander's foreknowledge to the proper employment of espionage agents, saying that ‘no one in the armed forces is treated as familiarly as spies and no one is given rewards as rich as those given to spies’.

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