May Day Story: Chinese Government’s Communist 'Party Cells' Spy At U.S. Colleges, Like University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign

Delegates applaud as Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for a plenary meeting of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Sunday, March 18, 2018.
Delegates applaud as Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for a plenary meeting of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Sunday, March 18, 2018. AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein
Delegates applaud as Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for a plenary meeting of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Sunday, March 18, 2018.
Delegates applaud as Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for a plenary meeting of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Sunday, March 18, 2018. AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

May Day Story: Chinese Government’s Communist 'Party Cells' Spy At U.S. Colleges, Like University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign

In attempts to tighten ideological control over Chinese citizens studying abroad, the Chinese Communist Party established “Party branches” at universities in the U.S., including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Party cells are an expansion of President Xi Jinping’s strategy to extend Party control globally and insulate students from negative opinions about China’s Communist Party. Beijing sometimes asks members to report on the behaviors and beliefs of their Chinese classmates. We’ll talk with Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, who broke the story for Foreign Policy magazine.