Eftimiades, Nicholas. "China's Ministry of State Security: Coming of Age in the International Arena." Occasional Papers and Reprints in Contemporary Asian Studies, no. 2 (1992): 1-23. Reprinted in Intelligence and National Security 8, no. 1 (Jan. 1993): 23-43.
Winner NISC 1992 award for "Best Scholarly Article."
Eftimiades, Nicholas. Chinese Intelligence Operations. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1994. London: Frank Cass, 1994. Rev. ed. Arlington, VA: Newcomb, 1999. [pb] JQ15195I63E37
Commenting on the revised edition, Bates, NIPQ 15.3, notes that this remains "the best available source on Chinese intelligence." In his original review, Bates, NIPQ 10.3, found this work to be a "timely study.... Overall, [Eftimiades'] methodologies appear to be sound, and free from mirror-imaging." The book is "well worth your attention." Kruh, Cryptologia 18.4, believes that the author "provides an astonishing amount of information on PRC's espionage organization and activities."
For Richelson, I&NS 9.4, Eftimiades has made a "valuable contribution." This is "more of a monograph than book," but "contains more information about current Chinese intelligence operations than any of its predecessors." The book's "detailed organizational descriptions ... go far beyond anything that has appeared previously in the unclassified literature." This is an "essential part of any intelligence library."
Valcourt, IJI&C 8.1, sees the book as "a concise look at the Chinese intelligence community.... [T]he bare-bones approach is nonetheless useful for its schematic outlines of the various bureaus and their lines of accountability." Clark comment: Valcourt's presentation goes beyond a simple review of Eftimiades' book, and can stand on its own as a commentary on the role of Chinese intelligence in relations with the United States.
According to Warren, WIR 13.4 and Surveillant 4.1, the "first part of the book" is executed "with meticulous research, incisive analysis, and informed speculation, to provide an accurate and detailed wire diagram of the Chinese intelligence system." But the author falls short "in his final chapter when he tries to predict the future.... This is a flaccid ending to a solid book."
Shade, MI 21.1, comments that Chinese Intelligence Operations supplies a "broad brush overview.... Although the book lacks documentation and detail, it is interesting and readable ... but only of passing interest to intelligence professionals.... [T]he most interesting portions of the book are the detailed accounts of Chinese HUMINT operations." Eftimiades concludes that "the Chinese intelligence community does not work well, but is so large that a low success rate can reap large benefits."
Holden-Rhodes, AIJ 15.2, notes that Eftimiades leads the reader "in a most interesting and informative manner ... through Chinese organizational missions and structure. China's preeminent civilian intelligence collection agency, the ... Ministry of State Security (MSS), is relatively new.... The structure and function of the PRC military intelligence programs are addressed in great detail.... This book is a 'must-have' for intelligence professionals. It is the standard against which these types of studies will be judged in the future."
A Choice, Nov. 1994, reviewer says that "Eftimiades has written a concise but highly informative introduction to the structure, methodology, and objectives of the intelligence services of the People's Republic of China. His treatment of the Ministry of State Security is especially first-rate.... His treatment of the Military Intelligence Department of the People's Liberation Army is less thorough due to his focus on human-source intelligence (HUMINT) rather than electronic intelligence (SIGINT)."
To Robbins, DIJ 4.1, the book is "the most comprehensive book on Chinese human intelligence (HUMINT) operations to date." Eftimiades "describes in painstaking detail the structure of each of the organizations involved in these operations and the various ways in which they go about satisfying their information objectives.... In Eftimiades' opinion, the US Intelligence Community and US law enforcement personnel are currently ill-prepared to deal with the threat posed by China's intelligence operations.... Eftimiades is equally pessimistic about US ability to counter these operations in the future." Although he seems "to take his argument too far at times," this is "a very well written, informative work which would be a valuable addition to any intelligence library."
Breslin, I&NS 10.4, notes that the book "introduces a wide-range of Chinese intelligence issues." The sections that provide a descriptive introduction to the Chinese intelligence services "are well organized, and ... Eftimiades's conjectures seem to be based on sound logic.... The sections on China's domestic operations ... seem over-concerned with the surveillance of foreigners in China when compared to the assessment of intelligence activities against the Chinese themselves.... Nevertheless,... Eftimiades has enhanced our knowledge of a complex, relatively ignored, yet hugely important area."
Eftimiades, Nick. "Commentary: Closer Ties, More Spies." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 120, no. 3 (Mar. 1994): 28.
"China's clandestine intelligence collection operations against military related technology have increased to the point where agencies with counterintelligence responsibilities are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of cases."
Return to China Table of Contents